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How the Youth Ministry Coaching Program Impacted a Whole Church

By Mark Oestreicher

I got an email the other day from a YMCP grad named Mike Henry, from Souix City, Iowa. He had a couple questions (we tell our grads that we’ll always be available to them, even after their year in YMCP is finished). But then mike graciously took the time to write a little about the impact YMCP has had, not just on his youth ministry, but on his entire church.

With mike’s permission, here’s what he wrote:

I wanted to thank you for the work you did in our Coaching sessions. After presenting the Organizational Lifecycle to our elders in February of 2015, we began a discussion about who we were as a church. We quickly realized that we had no succinct answer to that question. We certainly could describe a bunch of good biblical things we do and believe, but it was hard to align where we actually were with who we said we were in our values.

In May, we brought in some help to discern our true values. We worked with numerous people from outside the church and the leadership of our church to distill what made us unique as we sought to live out our mission statement. Through this process we were able to narrow our values down to four, meaningful statements.

This last January we finished a series called “Rebooting Central” where we talked about the new values and the road ahead for our church. Our elder leadership is invigorated and leading the way. They want to find stories of people living these out and share them at each meeting. In the summer we’re putting a pause on our normal Sunday school program to have everyone go through classes exploring these values more. In September we’re going to release a video-driven small group curriculum in which our elders teach and share from their lives.

I wanted to thank you for the equipping you’ve done in my life that helped form a conversation with our leadership which has sparked new life in our church. I am genuinely excited for the work that God is doing at Central in the lives of our congregation.

I hope you are encouraged by this, and that your continued work in coaching bears more fruit like this in more churches. Thank you.


We’re filling a handful of Youth Ministry Coaching Program cohorts right now:

  • Greenville SC — this cohort is open to anyone. it has about 5 people committed right now, so there’s space for another 5. Greenville is a great location (and easy drive) for anyone from TN, VA, WV, KY, NC and GA.
  • Dallas UMC cohort — this cohort is for UMC youth workers. if you’re interested, contact Charles Harrison at (or just contact us here at the Cartel). it’s close to being filled, so act quickly.
  • Atlanta UMC cohort — this cohort is for UMC youth workers, and even has some scholarship help available if you’re a UMC youth worker in the North GA Conference. it’s just about full, so jump right on it if you’re interested (contact us here, or contact Sam Halverson at
  • Northern IN cohort — this cohort is open to anyone. it only has a few people committed at this point, so it’s not clear if it’s going to happen or not. but let us know if you’re interested (
  • NC UMC cohort — we’re just about to start our 5th cohort for the Western NC Conference of the UMC; but the NC Conference (eastern half of the state) has decided to make a push for their own. if you’re a UMC youth worker willing to drive to Raleigh or thereabouts, contact Lee Barnes (, or just contact us. really, my guess is that this cohort would take non-UMC peeps in order to make it work. so if you’re in eastern NC or PA, this might be the fit for you (and allow them to get their cohort going).

We’re toying with the idea of trying a Pacific NW cohort (Seattle, probably). And we’ve been considering a third Women in Youth Ministry Cohort. We have got a few other possibilities in the hopper also. Let us know your interest in any of these, or if you think there’s a place where a group of youth workers (we need 10) would form the basis for a new push.

Learn all the things about YMCP here
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1 thought on “How the Youth Ministry Coaching Program Impacted a Whole Church

  1. Thanks for sharing this. It’s important that church leaders realize the impact a program like this can have on their congregation. One of the best ways to move in the direction of success is to learn from the successes of others, so implementing a mentor or cohort program could help a church make that move toward greater success.

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