YMCP (Youth Ministry Coaching Program) is a year long continuing education opportunity for youth ministers to hone their own leadership skills and learn how to build a healthy contextual youth ministry. In trying to find words to describe this process, I struggle to measure the impact it has had on my personal and professional life. This program, or spiritual journey, as I would like to call it, has helped me to focus on the important things in life and ministry. I have learned new ways of how to seek out God’s wisdom, love and grace in the midst of this chaotic thing called life. More importantly, I have been taught how to help my youth find the same wisdom, love and grace in their lives. Last, but not least, I was gifted with a new found community of ministry peers whose insight and friendship have been invaluable over the course of this year. I would highly recommend any of my youth ministry friends looking for “what’s next” in their training to talk with Mark Oestreicher about YMCP.
– Kristen Glover
Over my 17 years of youth ministry, I have done all sort of conferences, retreats and trainings. I entered into the Youth Cartel’s yearlong cohort program (YMCP) a little unsure of what to expect and skeptical of what I might really learn, yet I felt a need to do some kind of continued youth ministry learning after surviving 10 years post seminary and ordination. However, the open space created for personal connection, professional reflection & growth as well as vocational peer group conversations was wonderfully overwhelming. The cohort’s questions, support and process has sharpened my call and given me new traction in my ministry. The Youth Cartel brings together a great intersection of ministry & business development with a Spirit-led vulnerability of personal investment & discernment. I recommend anyone who cares about youth get to know The Youth Cartel’s written curriculum and training resources. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone needing to re-discern or re-image their ministry to give one of the cohorts a try – it is amazing what God can do over the course of a year with the right voices, thoughts & questions at your side!
– Paul Maletic
I don’t even know how to put into words how much these people have meant to me this year. I went into The Youth Cartel’s coaching program (YMCP) with Mark Oestreicher expecting to learn and grow in my role as a youth minister, and there is no doubt that has happened. What I didn’t expect was that I would come out the other side a new and better version of myself. I have seen the face of God and heard his voice through this incredible group of friends in ways that I could have never imagined was possible, and I have been so blessed by their witness. We have laughed and cried together, celebrated 2 new beautiful babies, a marriage, and a new job together in the span of just a year. This is what Christian community looks like—loving one another, carrying one another, and being champions for each other. We are forever friends and I am eternally grateful for that truth. This is just the beginning.
– Lisa Gill
In ten years worth of youth ministry conventions and trainings, I have never come across one that offers both practical ministry skills and personal growth opportunity at its deepest level until I participated in The Youth Cartel’s Youth Ministry Coaching Program. After every session I left with immediately applicable skills that grew my ministry and stretched me professionally. In the same space, I found a safe and authentic community with my ministry peers – something I had only ever experienced once before. A year ago I walked into a room of *mostly* strangers and in a matter of months gained new brothers and sisters, all from vastly different walks of life and theological understandings. In them, I learned many invaluable things and stood witness to the work of the Divine in their lives. With Mark Oestreicher’s teachings and facilitation, together we learned how to dig deep and become our best selves – professionally and personally. The coaching and spiritual direction sessions included in the cohort forced me to take a deeper look at myself and how I interact with the Living God, simultaneously shaping my ministry and my heart.
I will forever be grateful to my church, my partner, and my friends for making this experience happen. It’s incredible how much impact one year of training can have.
– Audrua Malvaez
Choosing to participate in the YMCP Level 1 cohort is one of the best career decisions I’ve made. Through this amazing yearlong cohort, I learned so much more than I expected. Like many educational programs, I expected to learn some practical ways to improve my ministry to teens and families. The content of this cohort far exceeded that expectation, though. While we learned many practical things, it transcended practical and went deep into foundational and formational aspects of ministry that I didn’t even realize I was lacking.
After 15 years of ministry experience, I had no idea how my ministry could be impacted by addressing some of the things learned in this cohort. But to take it a step further, and maybe the thing that sets YMCP apart is the way Marko intentionally got me to a place where I was not just evaluating and improving my ministry from a professional standpoint, but I’ve been changed personally. A good portion of our time was spent digging deep into the personal aspects of life that affect who we are. Through YMCP I was changed both professionally and personally and it has reinvigorated my passion for youth ministry in ways that no college course or conference ever has. I can’t wait to participate in a level 2 cohort!
– Kevin Hackett
My experience going through the Youth Cartel’s Coaching Program was the best example of biblical community I have ever seen. These 12 men and women have influenced my life in ways that I’ll be drawing from for years to come. They encouraged me, affirmed me and challenged me. This is what “forever friends” look like.
Professionally, this experience grew my perspective and scope of leadership more than any other time in my life. I’ve attended dozens of conferences and trainings and often left under challenged and unclear about what my ”next” should be. YMCP tapped into a deep and unexplored well of spiritual direction and leadership development. That well had always been there but YMCP helped me find it and gave me the tools to draw from it.
– Johnny Farr
The Women in Youth Ministry Cohort was a lifesaver for me! I was approaching burnout and knew I needed a coach if I was going to stay in ministry. Charlie helped me realize that I could end my time with my current ministry and focus on the ministry I am really passionate about! And I can’t put into words how encouraging it was to be surrounded by women who were going through similar challenges and celebrations in their ministries and personal lives. It was refreshing and affirming to hear over and over, “Same here! I thought I was the only one!” -Anonymous
Being a part of the Cartel’s Women’s Youth Ministry Cohort was a life changing experience for me. As a veteran youth minister (over 22 years) it breathed new life into my ministry, empowered me to make significant changes in my personal and vocational life, and gifted me with connections to others in youth ministry that I will always treasure. This cohort supported and breathed new life into me spiritually and practically. I now have tools, prayer support, and confidence to lead and minister wherever God places me. -Sharon Hilliard
The Youth Cartel’s Coaching Cohort empowered me to take control of my need for self care as a youth ministry leader. The encouragement found from my coach and other group members reminded of my value and identity in Christ when feeling discouraged in this calling. This experience changed my life! I am now able to serve God’s Kingdom more effectively with restored energy and vision. -Alex Gill
Because of all the information I learned through YMPC I totally changed how I did youth ministry at my church. I also did a lot of soul searching and came out with a better understanding of who I am and how God made me fit for the youth ministry I serve.