calling all youth workers who want to grow

ymcp leafi’ve written about the impact of the youth ministry coaching program many times here on this blog. it continues to be one of the most deeply satisfying things i’ve ever been a part of in ministry. the combination of youth ministry conversations and real-life sharing, support and accountability, simply put, brings the sort of whole life growth that i just don’t see happening in other contexts (conferences or grad school included).

here are a handful of quotes from grads of the cohort i recently completed in san antonio, texas:

YMCP impacted me in so many ways this year – motivation, inspiration, and a desrire to seek more for me, my vocation and the ministry God has called me to. Marko pushed me to think more, read more, and be more discerning in my life, and he helped me rekindle an enjoyment and desire for learning. One of the core values I hold most dear is the pursuing of deep, persistent, and authentic relationship. What Marko created and presented in YMCP is very congruent for me and this value that I hold so dear. He enabled us to not only gather as individuals to be fed, lifted up and encouraged, but he brought about transformational change at the core of each of us.
Mike Woods

I have been deeply impacted by Marko this year. His wisdom, experience, love for youth ministry, and for our Lord are so evident in all he has done for us and how he treats all of us. I am so thankful to have had this year under his guidance – especially because we share a similar background – I feel like this was so clearly God’s hand. I really needed someone who could understand they why behind so many of the things I have been struggling with and working through. I’m thankful Marko was so willing to walk with me through this, and so patient with the back and forth of trying to figure things out. I will be looking back at this year with gratitude for many, many years to come. I have a renewed hope for my ministry and my life because Marko cared and was willing to use the gifts God has so clearly given him.
Abby Richards

YMCP helped me put words to what I was thinking, feeling, and dreaming for ministry in general. YMCP is special because it doesn’t just affect one area of your life, it affects everything. What an amazing experience that will impact me for the rest of my life.
Trey McCarty

Participation in the yearlong coaching program has strengthened my ministry to the youth of my parish primarily by the outstanding guidance of the program’s coach, Mark Oestreicher. He’s an exceptional coach, leader and facilitator. He speaks truth in his experiences as a youth worker and a faithful follower of Christ. He brings excellent resources in the form of study materials, self-evaluation, and discovery.
Marilee Pankratz

and here’s a video that got me all choked up watching it. the evangelical presbyterian church is working on filling a couple YMCP cohorts of their own. and they produced this video as part of getting the word out, interviewing 3 EPC youth workers who have been through the program (btw: if you’re an EPC youth worker and interested in these cohorts, let me know):

i’m currently starting the process of launching one full face-to-face cohort, and two more online groups.

the full YMCP cohort will meet in san diego (6 meetings of 2 days each, over the span of a year). i’m hoping to launch this one in may if we get the minimum of 8 participants. if you’re interested in considering that, please contact me ([email protected]), or go to this page on our website and read the materials (including downloading the overview doc, with all sorts of details).

i currently have two ‘beta-test’ groups of the online version of YMCP 1/3 of the day through their 9-month program. and i’ve experienced enough of it to know that it works. the online version is not the same thing as the full experience. but, instead of just sticking the full, face-to-face version online, myself and a few graduates worked to create an online experience that embodies the same values, and many of the elements, while maximizing the opportunities of online and acknowledging the limitations. for instance, the online groups meet for 3 hours every month, for 9 months. and they are groups of 5 (instead of 8 – 10).

i’d like to launch two more online groups in the months ahead (not before mid-march). contact me ([email protected]) if you’d like me to send you the overview doc for that program.

of the 88 past and present participants, 87 completed the program. the only one who didn’t got a job that made it impossible. not one of the 87 would say that it wasn’t worth every dime.

i have a great sense of anticipation as i post this, thinking about the youth workers i will soon get to know on an intimate level that moves us all into life-long friendships.

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