Category Archives: news

YMCP coaching update: new cohorts almost formed, and a new ‘women in youth ministry’ cohort starting

in some ways, the youth ministry coaching program gave birth to The Youth Cartel. at least, YMCP existed before TYC. and it’s still one of our flagship programs. to date, 99 youth workers are either graduates or current participants in one of our 9-month online or year-long face to face cohorts. personally, it’s been one of the greatest ministry joys of my life, and i LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing the growth and transformation of these people and seeing them become some of my closest ministry friends. in fact, i have a 2-day working reunion in a week with my first nashville cohort, which met in 2010 and early 2011. we have all, to a person, stayed in close touch (thanks to a secret facebook group), and our reunion will both an ongoing opportunity for growth and a freaking party.

i’m very close to filling multiple new cohorts, and am ready to announce a brand new one. here’s the run-down:

palm treeSan Diego

my third san diego cohort didn’t fill up earlier this year. i have 5 or 6 people committed, and we only need 8 here in san diego to make a go of it (since i don’t have travel costs). i would love to start this cohort early in the new year, and wonder if there are any more people who are interested. you don’t have to live in SoCal, though the travel costs certainly shift if you don’t! the most recent addition to that pending group lives in dallas.

columbia-as-seen-fromColumbia, South Carolina

the south carolina conference of the united methodist church started talking about forming their own YMCP cohort early this year. and at this point, we have 7 committed people, ready to go. we need 10 for that cohort, so we’re looking for 3 more people. this cohort would really be ideal for any UMC youth workers in the southeast — SC, NC, GA, VA, WV, TN, KY, and even northern FL. and hey, if you’re interested in this and aren’t in a UMC church, i think we can make an exception. :) oh, we’re hoping to start this cohort before the year’s end — maybe in early december.


my current nashville wraps up in november. i don’t have concrete plans yet, but i’ll likely open up the application process for a new nashville cohort that i’ll hope to launch in late winter or spring of 2014.

epcEPC cohort

the evangelical presbyterian church has been trying to fill a cohort for most of this year. they have 5 committed, so we still need 5 more. they’re just now exploring opening it up to non-EPC youth workers, as well as some additional ideas. the location of this cohort isn’t set yet, but it’s likely to be in either western PA or nashville. if you’re an EPC youth worker, talk to me! and if you’re not, i’ll announce the actual plan at some point, if we open it up to non-EPCers.


DSC_0146-2the amazing april diaz, in partnership with me, will be launching a YMCP cohort exclusively for women in youth ministry. april and i have taken the best of the face to face format and the online format and are launching this cohort in a hybrid approach. the cohort will strictly limited to 8 participants (+ april; and i’ll probably be a “guest coach” at a couple meetings).

here’s april’s description of her vision for this group:

This 10 month whole-life coaching program is all about developing and empowering you as a woman in leadership. Being a woman in youth ministry is different. It demands unique skills and awareness as we approach the challenges and opportunities due to our gender. We will learn across a scope of subjects including theology, practical life realities, leading men, and issues defined by this group. This specialized cohort has 8 women in leadership, and meets twice for 2 days plus 4 times online (2-3 hours each). Each time is very intentional and structured to provide encouragement, challenge, and transformation. This cohort provides customized attention to your specific context and needs as a woman in youth ministry.

and here’s the unique (hybrid) schedule we came up with:

  • January – face-to-face, 2 days (in orange county, CA)
  • February – online, 3 hours
  • April – online, 3 hours
  • June – online, 3 hours
  • August – online, 3 hours
  • September – face-to-face , 2 days (in orange county, CA)

we hope to fill april’s cohort quickly, so dates (particularly for the january meeting) can be collaboratively locked in soon.

details, details

all of the year-long face to face cohorts have a $3000 fee. i realize that might seem steep to some of you. but i can tell you this: not one single person who has gone through the program has said it was overpriced, and many have said it was underpriced. sure is cheaper than a semester of grad school, yet the impact on your life and ministry will be exponentially greater.

the women in youth ministry cohort, however, since it’s a hybrid, is $1750.

i think it’s likely i’ll start a couple more online cohorts in early 2014 also. those have worked well, and i just finished two of them and have two more about halfway through the 9 month process. the cost of the online groups is $900.

i’m happy to email you a program overview and or an application. there are a bunch of testimonials and stuff on this page of The Youth Cartel site. of course, email me ([email protected]) with any questions you might have. you can email april directly if you have questions you’d like to ask about her cohort ([email protected]).

Google Reader’s euthanasia and Feedburner’s unplugging from life support

i am not a techie.

and that statement isn’t meant to be in the least dismissive of techies. i wish i were more of a techie. and i’m sure adam mclane, my partner in The Youth Cartel, regularly wishes i wasn’t such a technotard. we would quickly lose count if we tried to tabulate the times i broke one of our websites (more than once when he was traveling!), or cried out for help because i couldn’t figure something out. this little blog would have been long ago shuttered after the infamous ‘nativity post debacle of 2011’ had adam not come to the rescue.

reader deathbut i am a fairly heavy technology user. nothing all that out of the ordinary: two blogs, a pallet of websites, four facebook pages, two twitter feeds, instagram and dropbox and skype and google+, online platforms for invoicing and customer service and event registration and a few other things, and mobile apps for all of these. and i have regularly followed several dozen blogs thanks to google reader (which was my second app for that purpose, after a previous one went down).

so i’m more than a little annoyed that the sometimes-helpful-sometimes-infuriating-always-narcissistic people of google have chosen to kill off google reader. really. it’s the #1 blog aggregator in the world, used by millions, and they’re euthanizing it — on monday (july 1). add to that, feedburner, the google-owned service i’ve used for a long time to allow people to receive my blog posts via email, has stopped being serviced, and is all but dead. they’re not euthanizing it, but they unplugged it from life support last fall, and it’s wheezing and sputtering and slowly dying (and could break and die at any moment, which would be it, since google has a ‘do not resuscitate’ order in place).

my techno-problems, in order:

  1. i don’t understand this stuff. i just want it to work for me.
  2. i want to quickly scan all the blogs i follow in one place, not go to all of them.
  3. i have almost 1000 people who have followed my blog on google reader, and all of them are about to be dispersed like dandelion seeds on july 1.
  4. i have about 350 people who receive my blog posts via email due to feedburner subscriptions, and they’re soon to lose that ability.
  5. i don’t understand this stuff. i just want it to work for me.

so, it seems there’s just no way around it: i’m going to lose a crap-ton of readers. bummer. i hope some portion of them will re-engage via some new means (fist shake in a northerly direction toward google headquarters!).

here’s what i’ve found, through some searching (throat clear: by searching on google):

feedlyblog reader
i’ve switched to feedly, a free service that seems pretty good (this techcrunch article and this gizmodo article were helpful). and if you are a google reader user, and switch over before the googs euthanize the reader, the import function is one-click easy-peasy.

i’m sure i’ll have a little adjustment period. but it looks like it will suit me just fine. i really like the social media sharing buttons at the bottom of each post in the view i use.

thank you, feedly!

(btw: adam has more details, step-by-step instructions here in his post called Migrate to Feedly Now! but i want it noted that he — the techno-wizard — told me no one uses RSS or a reader anymore until i told him about the techcrunch and gizmodo articles. apparently they have more tech cred than me, since he subsequently made this change and wrote his helpful blog post.)

email subscriptions
the replacement for feedburner (the email subscription thingy) was a harder one for me to figure out. articles i read pointed mostly to paid services. and while i truly love you if you’re one of my email subscribers, i wasn’t jazzed about handing over fifteen bucks a month for that service. i mean: that’s the price of one IMAX 3D movie ticket!

mailchimpso, after whining to adam in what might have been passive aggressive ways a few times, i finally had a conversation with him where i came right out and said “I need your help!” (because, as i always tell the fantastic youth workers in my coaching programs, “great leaders are willing to ask for help,” and “asking for help counter-intuitively draws people to you rather than repelling them from you.” so, adam should be really drawn to me right now.) of course, he knew exactly what to do. he exported my feedburner stuff, imported it into MailChimp (which we already use for many other purposes), created a nifty little email header for me, and set things up to automatically send out emails a half hour after i post new stuff on my blog.

yup. that would have taken me weeks to figure out. took adam about 45 minutes, i think (that’s the learning here, right? you all need an adam. but you can’t take mine.)

seriously, MailChimp is fantastic, and free for small (low quantity) users. and there’s a robust truck full of help tools. and the amazingly friendly and insightful founder/CEO (ben chestnut) spoke at The Summit last year!

bottom line #1: if you’re one of my whyismarko’s email subscribers, you’ve already been switched over to the new dealio, and should be reading this in a lovely email format with my smirking face at the top.
bottom line #2: if you’d like to start receiving my posts via email, just enter your info over there on the right sidebar area where it says to do so. (by the way, i tend to post about 1 – 3, maxing out at 4, times per week. so it’s not an overwhelming quantity.)


there you have it! “marko’s tech solutions blog” will now follow the trail blazed by the googlebots. i’m calling dr. kevorkian right now (he’s got a direct line at google).

The Youth Cartel annual shareholder meeting

if you’ve interacted with or supported The Youth Cartel this past year, then you’re a shareholder. this thing is open, man.

but, i’m guessing you may have missed the annual shareholder meeting, held recently in a very exclusive location. good thing we filmed it for you!

The Youth Cartel Shareholder Meeting from The Youth Cartel on Vimeo.

(oh, also, did you hear the news that we’re giving away two ipads in a little contest right now where your chances of winning — compared to other contests like this — are ridiculously high?)

don’t forget to set your clocks forward saturday night (10 suggested uses for your leap second)

have you ever heard of “leap second“? it’s real — seriously. and it occurs tomorrow night (saturday, june 30). don’t believe me, or just want to know more: read this. in short, a leap second is a scheduled adjustment in the worldwide “coordinated universal time” (UTC) to adjust for the extremely gradual and unpredictable slowing down of the earth’s rotation. yeah. that’s how i responded too. so, we’re all gonna die. that’s the basic message of leap second.

anyhow, the official leap second is schedule for 23:59:60 (i don’t get the :60, btw, as it seems like that would move into the next minute; but, whatever). it’s actually happening around the world at the same moment. so here in my lovely san diego, leap second will occur at 4:59 in the afternoon.

anyhow, this means you can have an extra second of sleep saturday night! just think — church attendance should be extremely high this weekend, as people have an opportunity to get plenty of rest.

in fact, i think it might be helpful to offer my loyal, smart, beautiful and particularly interesting readers a helpful list of SUGGESTED USES FOR YOUR LEAP SECOND:

1. wink at someone who will be creeped out or disoriented by your doing so. like: wink at your senior pastor. or, at the church organist. or, at the mailman.

2. shout “FREE TIME” wherever you are at the exact moment of leap second. you’ll have to say it rather quickly to get both words in during the second; but i know you can do it.

3. hop. really — just take a nice jaunty vertical hop. trust me — you will not be disappointed with this use of your leap second. because awesome.

4. call your mother. sure, you’ll have to disconnect before you even get to dialing the 4th digit of her number. but it’s the thought that counts, right?

5. pray. all you’ll be able to say during your spare second is “God;” but, really, in’t the essence of most prayers anyhow?

6. hit send on an email that is courageous or fantastically risky (in a good way). in order for this one to work, you’ll need to compose the email ahead of time, and have it ready in your draft folder. at about 58 minutes into the hour when leap second occurs, pull up that email; then hit send with flourish on “the second that does not exist.”

7. take a step backward. that way, you get to live that same second two times. you’re like a walking human version of hip hop scratching. wiki-wiki.

8. slap yourself. it only takes a second, and that’s how much time you have. this would be especially helpful if you tell yourself some truth you need to hear just as you start the swing. locks that truth in, man.

9. collapse on the floor. really. just go 100% limp at the moment of leap second, folding into an organic pile of mush on the floor. if someone happens to be nearby and sees you, get back up and say, “that was my performance art piece to acknowledge the slowing of the earth’s rotation, and your imminent death. have a great day!”

10. exhale and smile. quite possibly the best use of a bonus second ever.

is youth ministry the cause of the american church’s juvenilization?

like many of you, i read the cover story in the current issue of christianity today with interest. the article, by huntington prof thomas bergler, is called When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity. if you haven’t read it, take a few minutes now — i’ll wait. the article is a synopsis/excerpt of bergler’s new book (which i haven’t read, so these comments are only in connection with the CT article).

anytime CT is willing to address any subject pertaining to teenagers or youth ministry, i’m intrigued (particularly as i find that youth ministry is still considered “junior varsity ministry” in most church leader thought circles).

it’s a very well-written article, with great bits that were new to me. bergler traces the history of youth ministry in the american church alongside the rise of the seeker movement and the dumbing down of worship. on the surface, he’s gracious to youth ministries, saying that the approaches forged in that context were appropriate.

but bergler takes it a HUGE step further: the basic thrust of the article is that youth ministry approaches are responsible (exclusively, since he doesn’t name other factors) for the shift in the american church to a feel-good, dumbed-down, pep rally:

Youth ministries and juvenilization contributed to this surprising outcome by making the Christian life more emotionally satisfying. Passion was in, duty was out. This kind of individualized, emotional connection to God sustained religious interest in a changing society in which custom, tradition, and social pressure would no longer motivate people to care about faith or attend church.

Not surprisingly, in the process of adapting to the new immature adulthood, churches started looking a lot like youth groups. Contemporary churches appeal to thousands of Americans by providing an informal, entertaining, fast-paced worship experience set to upbeat music. Everything done in these churches to reach “unchurched” people was already being done in the YFC rallies of the 1950s. And this parallel is not coincidental.

now, i don’t deny for a second that youth ministries can (and hopefully do) have a shaping influence on their churches, and on the church at large. that reality is one of the primary reasons i have stayed in youth ministry all these years! and i don’t want to be defensive, and ignore the negative ways youth ministry may have inadvertently shaped the church for the worse.

but the further i got into the article, the more i found myself moving from a response of “yeah, i agree!” to a response of, “wait, that’s not a logical conclusion.”

as a more minor point of contention, bringing in worship styles seems to be a weak example to me. i’m with bergler that there’s been a theological shift toward a feel-good gospel, and that has had (and will have) damaging implications for the church. call out the lyrics — that’s fair; but the musical style seems to miss the point.

but my bigger issue is that i just can’t buy it that youth ministry has that much power! (maybe we should all be flattered!) the broader, and much more influential issue, from my perspective, is the juvenilization of american culture in general! expressions of church are far from being the leading case studies of juvenilization. and, at the end of the day, the bigger influence on the church has been an american culture where youth (and the values and norms, styles and preferences, attitudes and behaviors) reign. institutional loyalty is out the window in our culture, and “what works for me” is the primary deciding factor for the average adult decision, whether in the church or outside of it. it’s a stretch to imply that youth ministries were anything more than a response to those broader cultural shifts. and the church just went down the same path, a few years later.

please help the band Lost And Found (and get a cool CD in the process)

i was a fan of the band Lost And Found before i was friends with the two guys in it, george baum and michael bridges. but for years now, i’ve been both.

i remember seeing them perform at the national youth workers convention well over a decade ago, and experiencing a strange mixture of WTF combined with “i love these guys!” i’m sure many of you reading this, if you had a similar exposure to LAF at an NYWC or other event, had the same experience. i have every one of their CDs.

but somewhere along the line, george and michael became friends of mine. george’s family and mine started to hang out each year over our christmas trip to detroit (they lived in toledo, OH, at the time). our wives became friends; our kids became friends. george and i were “founding members” of a strange little men’s group (for lack of a better term) that we used to call the young notorious sinners. none of us our young anymore, so we usually just refer to it as YNS these days. but this group of guys, which usually meets annually for peer mentoring and accountability, has shaped me in deep ways.

george, michael and i have spent time together in more cities that seems normal, and have sparred or found common ground on more theological subjects than i can remember.

and i still love their music.

it gutted me when i found out recently that michael — who, in the last handful of years, got married and had a baby — had just had a large cancerous tumor removed, and was heading into a season of chemo and radiation.

and, as you might expect, this puts both of their families into a bit of jeopardy, since most of their income is tied to touring.

Lost And Found were set to record and release a new CD. and if they can get this thing out, they might be able to weather this. while a LAF album is always full of great songs, the live experience of their concerts is what really sets them apart. so, how perfect that this would be a live CD, with all the weirdness and insight and humor of that experience.

Lost And Found need our help. this isn’t just a band trying to get fans to help fund a CD. this is a band — two families, really — trying to find a way forward. even if you’ve never heard of Lost And Found before, i’d encourage you to help fund their kickstarter campaign at a level that will get you the CD. the worst that could happen is that you get some music you don’t really care about, but help two families who have given to youth workers for so many years bridge a difficult gap. and the best that could happen is that you’ll do that and love the music.

CLICK HERE for the kickstarter page.

and, watch this little video:

Tic Long will be at the middle school ministry campference

yup. big awesomeness.

many of you know tic long. tic worked at youth specialties for pretty much all of his adult life, well more than 30 years, until this past fall. he has given his life to youth workers. the dude is thoughtful, direct, articulate, insightful, creative, and–no question about it–fun.

many of you also know that tic and i have the friendship that shouldn’t have lasted, through the ups and downs of youth specialties. many of our friends have encouraged us, at various times, to not be friends. but somehow–by the grace of god, and by the grace of tic–we’ve weathered it. privately and publicly, we enjoy being together, and have great respect for each other. and i’m sure glad that’s the case, because these days tic is the executive pastor at my church; and i get a big grin on my face every time i see him on the church campus, or hosting a service.

so, a couple months ago when we were hanging out, i said something like this:

tic, last year at the middle school ministry campference, one of the fantastic surprises was the role michael flaherty, the CEO of walden media, ended up playing. sure, he gave one of the main session talks, and that was great. but the surprise was two-fold: first, he hung out with people. and second, he instigated fun.

kurt johnston and i talked about how much that added to the event, and how it would be great to find someone who could play that role again. but it’s not a role many could play. when adam and i were brainstorming, it struck me: there is pretty much no one on earth who could provide that combination of things better than you, tic. i’m wondering if you would be willing to come to the MSMC and do three things:

  1. give one of the main session talks.
  2. be our resident sage, someone that middle school youth workers can sit with and talk, someone who will listen and care about them.
  3. and, finally, i want you to mess with us, instigate fun, and be playful.

tic got a big grin on his face, and said he’d love to be there. he knows, as do i, that those are three things he will completely rock.

in addition, we’ve landed another absolutely brilliant presenter for a main session and other nefarious roles: mark dowds. many of you won’t be familiar with mark, but the dude is almost a savant in his brilliancy. mark is from ireland, where he was a youth pastor. after moving to canada, mark worked in a church for a while, and lead the staff of one of the largest camps in north america. then, he took a leap and started using his combination of natural insight and psychological training to consult with ministries and organizations, including both some of the biggest companies in canada, as well as a little company in san diego called youth specialties. mark worked with our entire staff, and provided leadership for about 10 leadership team retreats, shaping ys and each of us (tic and i maybe the most — in fact, we probably owe the continuation of our friendship to mark, in some ways). then mark jumped again, starting multiple companies himself, eventually moving to the san francisco bay area, and launching a series of tech start-ups.

bottom line: the dude is probably the most insightful person i’ve ever met (really). and, he’s an absolute blast. mark has also agreed to give one of the main session talks, and to hang out for the whole weekend, stirring the pot with his leprechaun magic.

i am off-the-charts ecstatic about these two guys–tic and mark–joining us for the MSMC; because i want nothing more than for this event to be the single most amazing and encouraging three days in the lives of people who work with young teens in churches; and i’m confident that tic and mark will dramatically increase our ability to do just that.

if you work with junior highers or middle schools in a church or other ministry context, i really hope you’ll join us on october 26 – 28, at spring hill camp in seymour, indiana (southern indiana). i hope you’ll bring a team, or recruit a few ministry friends to join you. it really is our tribal gathering, and you just can’t miss it. we need you and your voice. registration is open, so click through and check it all out.

Open, an experimental youth ministry event

two preliminary comments:
1. someone told me recently that they had stopped reading my blog because it seemed like it was all promotion for stuff i was doing. that bummed me out, particularly because i try really hard not to have that be true. on the other hand, i don’t have mailing lists or marketing budgets, and this is about the only way i have to let people know the awesome stuff The Youth Cartel is doing. so, this being one of a few promo-type posts this week, i apologize. then, i don’t normally blog on fridays, so consider this a bonus anyhow.
2. and, besides, can you believe how many cool things The Youth Cartel is doing? really! c’mon!

adam mclane, the other half of our wee cartel of youthiness, had a dream. he was being chased, naked, through a church by a… no, wait… wrong dream.

adam had a dream: to level the playing field on youth ministry events and provide equal access to anyone with something to say. he knew it wasn’t going to be a big money maker. but adam’s greatest strength is his idealism. Open, the new event we launched yesterday, is the playing out of that dream.

Open will be, hopefully, a series of local, organic, grass roots youth ministry training events, where anyone can be a presenter. in this very early stage (we’re considering it the alpha test, with some betas next years), the people who were passionate about taking the risk with us were in seattle. and since national (and often regional) youth ministry events are never in seattle, or even the pacific northwest, Open Seattle was born.

here’s the Open Manifesto adam wrote:

There aren’t many places in the church where all ideas have the same opportunity to be presented. Everything is editorialized, shaped, and packaged. Every idea is filtered through a lens.

We think something is wrong with that. Deep in our souls we know the solutions to the problems we face today are already out there, waiting to be discovered.

Open is just that. Open. The Youth Cartel sets the table, plays host, and invites anyone and everyone who has an idea to the table for a day where we all have equal value for our ideas. Whether you are a big dog with 20,000 people writing down your every word, a college student with some crazy ideas, or somewhere in between, the table is open–we will give you your shot and equal time to share your idea.

Now that doesn’t mean you will automatically be appreciated or celebrated. It’s an open table and you have the chance to play with the big boys. There will be winners and there will be less-than-winners. Just like everyone has the same shot, everyone undergoes the same scrutiny. The point isn’t that everyone will be equally received, the point is that anyone can have the platform.

No one gets paid to present at Open. Why? That wouldn’t be fair, would it? Those making presentations submit a proposal and chances are good that if they’ve got something to say that’s on topic, they will get a shot. Their only compensation is the chance to present their ideas, and free entry to the day.

So what does it cost? We’ve kept it as simple as possible. Tickets start at $25 for the day. If we sell out early then that’s it. But as we get closer to the day, tickets will naturally get a little more expensive.

True to the premise of Open, we aren’t out to make a lot of money. We are splitting any proceeds for the day equally with a local organizer and a local ministry recipient. We think that’s fair, and we will be 100% open about the money so you know who has made what.

From top to bottom we want Open to be a different type of event. We set the table, invite all, and provide a day where the best stuff filters to the top. Why? Because we trust you. We are in this together. We care deeply about impacting the Kingdom and we know you do too. And we know that low control, high trust openness is the way to get there.

Join us.

Being your ideas, bring your voice, and let’s dream.


This is the driving document for Open Seattle, a new youth ministry event we just announced today. This is the first of what I hope will become a movement of Open events which gather all over to collaborate, celebrate, and innovate within our beloved tribe of youth ministry. The plan is to do two more as an alpha test, one in the Northeast and one in Western Europe. (Hosting info)

A fun story about this manifesto is that I wrote it about 6 months ago. I kind of woke up with this from a dream. It was one of those things that dragged me out of bed and I typed it as fast I could. For weeks I had been thinking about Open, I’d had conversations with about a dozen people about it, but I couldn’t put the whole thing into words until that morning. It’s crazy how creativity works. Sometimes you have to dig to find it and other times it attacks you and you just try to keep up.

a different kind of youth ministry training event: The Summit

i’ve been dreaming about this baby for two years. so i’m so completely stoked to reveal it today. The Youth Cartel is launching a new event this fall, called The Summit.

first, the calendar stuff:
-November 9 and 10
-in Atlanta, GA

and here’s the gist of it (taken directly from the event website):

There are other amazing youth ministry events. We love ‘em (they’re mostly run by friends of ours). But we at The Youth Cartel wanted to try something different, something we’ve been dreaming about for two years.

We’ve always been big fans of TED talks, and are creating an event with that vibe. We want our imaginations stirred. We want to dream together. We want to grab hold of hope. And we want to do all of this with you.

The theme for The Summit this first time out is PANORAMA. Let’s link arms (and brains and hearts!) as we pause to grasp a big-picture view of youth ministry present and future.
Each of the main sessions will have 4 to 6 presenters carefully selected for what they will bring. We’re not just inviting “good speakers” or big names; we’re choosing (and working with) presenters who will help us pull a thread through the entire event.

Session 1, on Friday evening, will focus on Hear and Now. Each presenter will offer a different look into a facet of our current reality.

Session 2, on Saturday morning, is called Peripheral Vision. These presenters will help us look to the side, to consider what we might learn from other fields of knowledge and experience.

Session 3, on Saturday afternoon, will bring our attention to The Horizon, where the presenters will suggest hopeful possibilities of where we might be going in our collective effort of youth ministry.

Session 4, early Saturday evening, will offer a keynote speaker to wrap things up, as well as some extended worship.

Sessions 1 through 3 will be followed by opportunities to meet with individual presenters who will respond to questions and prod you (and your team) to wrestle with contextual application of the combustible ideas they are passionate about.

The Summit doesn’t fit the categories for what you’ve experienced at a youth ministry event before. It’s different.

the line-up of presenters and topics is already shaping up to be WAY cool:
(session 1)

    Nikole Lim (topic TBA)
    Aaron Arnold, topic: Global Youth Culture
    Dori Baker, topic: Capacities of Teenagers

(session 2)

    Ben Chestnut, topic: Creating an Environment for Creativity and Empowerment
    Bobby John, topic: Entrepreneurship and Risk
    Mark Oestreicher, topic: Theory U and Transformation

(session 3)

    Charles Lee, topic: Birthing Ideas
    Gregory Ellison II, topic: Learning to Notice Marginalized Teenagers
    Chris Folmsbee, topic: Hopeful Imagination
    Seth Barnes, topic: Ruining Teenagers and Young Adults for Jesus

we’ll be adding more presenters over the months to come, so check the site for updates.

we really hope you’ll join us. we really hope you’ll bring a team (especially if you live in the southeast and can drive!). let’s dream together, baby!