Tag Archives: group publishing

8 Youth Ministry Tipping Points -or- How Crazy That I’m Speaking at a Group Event!

here are a few realities some of you know, but are usually only spoken of in hushed tones:

a. it’s a bit wild (though fun) that i — mark oestreicher — am speaking at Group’s intimate and in-depth event, ReGroup. i mean, i’ve always appreciated Group Magazine, and the dudes at Simply Youth Ministry have had my respect for years. but, if we’re really honest, i was in the other camp. so it’s a bit trippy that i’m writing all these books for SYM, and now speaking at this event!

b. for those who follow these things, i really thought the tectonic plates of the youth ministry world had finished a season of massive movement back in late 2009 and early 2010. tic got laid off from ys. i got laid off from ys. zondervan sold ys to youthworks, but kept the publishing rights. a dozen other ys staffers lost their jobs or chose to move on. tic got rehired by youthworks to lead ys. doug parted ways with SYM, then joined ys. adam left ys and joined me at the youth cartel. really, it was a bit like playing day trader; and i’m only scratching the surface here. so, it’s all a bit humorous (well, it is to me, at least) that tic is now the executive pastor at my church, and i’m speaking at a group event!

c. most of you couldn’t care less about all that stuff; and it’s far enough in my past now that i really get a kick out of it all.

it’s awesome, in my thinking. i’m stoked to get to partner with group and sym, so i was off-the-charts cheesy-grinned happy when i got an email from rick lawrence of group magazine, asking me to be a part of this event.

here’s what i can surely say about ReGroup: i’m so stoked to be a part of this thing that i re-arranged a family vacation to be a part of it. to share three days of training with a great youth ministry friend who always makes me think more sharply (kurt johnston) and one of the wisest people in all of youth ministry (rick lawrence)… well, that will be a happy place for me.

very loosely based on some of the stuff from my recent SYM book, A Beautiful Mess: What’s Right About Youth Ministry, this small event (limited to 100 people only!) will focus on conversations about a handful of factors (8 of them, to be exact!) that can make a significant impact on your youth ministry. we’ll also mix it up with some exercises and models to get you thinking in new ways. and (this is a BIG AND), we get to have dinner at thom and joani schultz’s home (who i last saw — this is not a joke — at a remote, outdoor, riverside restaurant in botswana, africa; but that’s a story for another time — maybe that evening at their home.)!

here’s the official write-up:

This unique and intimate gathering is specifically crafted for youth pastors who crave the time, interactivity, and in-depth learning that happens in a retreat setting. Every year at this event, the 100-or-so attending youth pastors get an interactive ministry growth experience like no other (just ask past participants). Over the course of three days you’ll learn how to do something that’s rare in today’s youth ministry—push the accelerator down on “tipping point” ministry practices instead of fret about what’s not working. Our team will lead you through a pinpoint array of growth-producing ministry imperatives. In addition, we’ll stretch your thinking with some models of transformation and change that will get you thinking about “what could be” for both your youth ministry and your own life.

In addition, a highlight of this event every year is an evening at Thom and Joani Schultz’s (President and Chief Creative Officer of Group) home, enjoying a meal together. Also, we’ll gather in one of the most beautiful spots in the Colorado Rockies for a picnic and a special experience that will deepen your relationship with Jesus.

We’ve made the registration cost (which includes your meals) a low $125—our simple desire is to “love on” a community of youth pastors who have unique challenges and a unique perspective in the context of a three-day trajectory-changing retreat.

click here to read more, or here to register. time for some rocky mountain high, baby!

i need your input for a national middle school ministry event

time to let the cat at least partly out of the bag: i’m putting together an event this fall (october 14 – 16) for middle school youth workers. we’re calling it the “middle school ministry campference”, because it’s going to be at a camp (and we hope to take full advantage of the camp in making this a unique event).

i’ve got some great partners on this event: simply junior high (the middle school part of simply youth ministry/group), junior high believe (the junior high event hosted by christ in youth), and spring hill camp (one of the most amazing camps i’ve ever been to).

i’ll be blogging much more about this events in the months to come. but i’m totally stoked about it. we’re hoping for a tribal gathering — a collection of junior high and middle school youth workers (paid and volunteer) who will worship, learn, dialogue, pray, play, eat and dream together. if you’re involved in junior high or middle school ministry in any way, i really hope you’ll consider joining us.

we don’t have a website with all kinds of info yet (which is why this cat is only partly out of the bag). first, we want your input. if you’re part of this tribe — if you work with junior highers or middle schoolers in a church or parachurch context, even if it’s only part of your responsibility) — we’d really like your input. we’ve put together a little questionnaire. it’s short, and should only take about 7 minutes to complete. but it will give us good direction as we dive into deeper planning (in fact, i will have the planning team meeting at my house for 2 days in early february).

as a tiny thank you for your time, one person who fills out the survey will receive a $75 best buy gift card (but, please don’t fill it out only for a chance to win; please fill it out if you’re actually a middle school ministry youth worker).

click here to take the 2011 Middle School Ministry Campference survey

Group publishing gets new president

just saw this news item: the peeps over at group have a new president. thom schultz has had a long and strong run as pres and ceo there; and, while thom is still in the ceo seat, i hope this is a neutral to good thing for doug and our friends at simply youth ministry. hey, i know what a mess a new president can make, since i did! Maybe I should have some kind of presidential summit with the guy (that’s humor there, since we’re a hamster and they’re a hippo).