Audrua Malvaez — 2018 Houston Cohort

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

Kevin Hackett — 2018 Houston Cohort

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

Johnny Farr — 2018 Houston Cohort

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

Anonymous — 2018 Women’s cohort

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

Sharon Hilliard — 2018 Women’s cohort

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

Alex Gill — 2018 Women’s cohort

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

Rebekah Little – 2017 Pittsburgh cohort

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.

Jason Freyer – 2017 Pittsburgh cohort

I joined this cohort thinking that it would be a season of professional development, and that was certainly true. What was an unexpected blessing was the incredible depths of personal growth I was encouraged to find. Our coaches were able to peer beyond the surface level persona I offered the world, and speak incredible truths about what the Spirit of God is up to in my life. I carry with me a newfound sense of confidence, resiliency, and leadership that I was unaware I was capable of. Anyone who is interested in being an outstanding youth pastor in addition to a complete and whole child of God should sign up today!

Amy Grella – 2017 Pittsburgh cohort

Being a new part-time and non-ordained youth worker, I went to the YMCP training with not much more expectation than networking with others doing similar work.  I can’t express in words how much more YMCP is than that!  The Cohort provided a safe environment for me to be wholly myself and realize that all weaknesses (personal and professional) are opportunities for growth.  Mark-O and the coaches shared detailed, proven tools and insights along with both the space to explore the tools with the support and accountability for me to succeed.  I gained exponential confidence in myself and my calling to be a youth worker.  It has transformed the way we do youth ministry…it’s just awesome!

Heather Campbell – 2017 Pittsburgh cohort

In YMCP, I was able to build relationships with both seasoned and new youth workers. I was able to receive valuable resources and tools to bring back to my church and help to move them forward. And I was able to be lifted up and challenged to be the best version of myself I can be.