What’s the next thing you need to get good at? If you plan your work around a school calendar like many of us in youth ministry, then a new year is only weeks away. My calendar and invite letter all got mailed out yesterday. But in addition to the youth group schedule, the Confirmation curriculum, and the lock-ins and retreats, I need a plan for getting better at a few things.
Supporting volunteer leaders is one. Learning from parents is another. I have some strategies in mind for improving in these areas, but I could really use a group of peers in ministry to suggest still more strategies and help me evaluate the work.
One of the best experiences of such a peer group I’ve ever had was the Youth Ministry Coaching Program cohort I did in 2011-2012. There were 10 of us from different denominations and church contexts. We learned both practical and theoretical tools for our ministries, some from the facilitator and some from one another. It was one of the most useful professional development experiences I have had in ministry.
I should get in another one of those.
In the meantime I’m organizing one. It will be in Chicago, at the church I serve, and it’s launching this fall. The Synod of Lincoln Trails is behind it, so it will cost less. And it will be led by the same skilled facilitator who led mine seven years ago, the always-learning Mark Oestreicher. It’s open to people working in youth ministry in Presbyterian contexts, and so far it has people from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. There are still spots open.
Click here to read more about it and sign up.
Whether it’s a cohort or something else, we all need people to help us get better. The time is now.
2 thoughts on “I Want To Get Better”
Hey Rocky, I’d love to be a part of that, except that I don’t really know where I’m going to be and what I’m going to be doing (currently on a terminal vacation through July and beginning a severance with my current church from Aug-Dec – downsizing 3 positions this year.) At any rate, I took interim training with the Synod of Lincoln Trails (highly encourage it!!! – great for all pastors, not just transitional) in St. Louis this year, weeks 1 & 2. Week 2 is a continuation of week 1 plus a cohort of folks who help us work through a situation we bring to the group. We had such a great experience with our coach and the team, that we asked about the possibility of a virtual cohort of the same folks along with our coach. He agreed and we’ve already met online twice. Since we’d already established the group, the ground rules, and the method, it’s working really well. I don’t know if that’s something your group would be interested in, but it would save a lot of travel costs throughout the year if you only meet together for a week a year and met online the rest of the year. It would be easy to meet monthly that way too. Just passing on some free thoughts! 😉
Thanks so much for all your blog thoughts. Very helpful and insightful.
Blessings on your continued work, here and at FPC! Michelle James Allen Park Presbyterian Church (sort of) Allen Park MI
Thanks Michelle. Some of these cohorts are hybrids. Half their meetings are in person and half online. This one is all in person though.
I’ve heard great things about the Interim Training, and I didn’t know it had gone to a cohort model.