Tag Archives: good news in the neighborhood

update on The Youth Cartel

ok, there’s just so much going on in our wee company, it’s hard for me to discipline myself to not post about my excitement over this or that every day.

so, as further prevention from “all cartel posts, all the time,” allow me to update you and remind you on a few things that are just the bomb:


The Youth Cartel is doing three events this year, and two of ’em are brand new:

  • the middle school ministry campference is in its second year. we have a great line-up (including tic long!); but the line-up isn’t really the reason to come. the reason to come is that, if you’re in JH or middle school ministry, this is the one place where you can really spend three days with your tribe. i’ve never been a part of an event where every single person who attends could offer a raving endorsement. the MSMC is in seymour, indiana, october 26 – 28.
  • the summit is the youth cartel’s new flagship event. i’ve been dreaming about this for two years or more, and with adam joining me, we’ve been able to turn the dream into a reality. but, seriously, it’s already surpassed my expectations, and it’s still 6 months away. the presenter line-up blows my mind. this is the event i would attend even if i had nothing to do with creating it. join us in atlanta, november 9 and 10 (btw: the first 100 who register get MAJOR bonus swag).
  • finally, adam has been dreaming of a grassroots, organic youth ministry event where anyone can speak. talk about leveling the playing field and acknowledging that we’re all in this together! that’s what Open is all about. our first Open is Open Seattle, on october 6. the second location is a doosy! (stay tuned)


with 6 cohorts of 10 youth workers each either completed or in progress, i continue to find the youth ministry coaching program to be my most deeply satisfying days, other than time with my family. we’ve opened 5 cohorts for later this year (or whenever they fill), and are deep into conversations with 3 denominational groups about cohorts specific to their tribe. oh, and we’ve just begun conversations about a possible new zealand cohort! ha!

here’s another quote, from current participant sam halverson:

The YMCP is the single most helpful resource I’ve found in over 30 years of professional youth ministry. While conventions, workshops, and seminars are influential and necessary, the Youth Ministry Coaching Program is a much more personal and personable resource for anyone wishing to understand and struggle with the ins and outs of professional ministry. The spiritual direction, values assessments, readings, discussions, personal sharing, and presence-minded shepherding led by Mark Oestreicher encompass all parts of life – not just youth ministry.


we’ve had a blast this year partnering with organizations and ministries as diverse as biblica, dougfields.com, urban youth worker’s institute, tyndale publishers, and about a dozen others.


already in 2012, i’ve been stoked about the release of The Way bible and A Beautiful Mess. I have 6 more books coming out with simply youth ministry over the next year (3 of which i’ve finished), and i’m working on two versions of an ebook that The Youth Cartel will publish.

adam published his first book, with jon huckins, through The Youth Cartel’s own brand: good news in the neighborhood.

i’ve been stoked about working with a few great authors to help them find publishers for their books, finalizing deals for lars rood, jeff goins, and len kageler.

and The Youth Cartel is throwing in hard on publishing through our own brand, with 7 projects signed. you’ll see these start to come out over the remaining months of this year.

oh, and i still love writing regular columns for Youthworker Journal and Youthwork (the UK magazine for youth workers), as well as occasional contributions to Immerse Journal and Group Magazine. Adam and i both write for Slant33.com.


our weekly Cartel Culture and YouTube You Can Use emails have been a great hit. in just 8 short months we have more than 1200 people receiving them.

we launched a free job bank on our website. and our facebook page, blog, and twitter feeds are all gaining traction.


i still love speaking to teenagers and youth workers, and find my schedule regularly full with amazing opportunities (like, i’m leaving for london this morning, to speak at the Youthwork Summit).

yup, we’re busy little beavers, and we’re having the time of our lives. thanks to all of you who have been so supportive of us. we long to serve you well (and push you a little bit). We have three or four more sweet ideas in the hopper, if we can find the bandwidth to get them going!

Good News in the Neighborhood

one of the things i love about my partner in The Youth Cartel is that he is SO much more than a smart, tech-savvy youth worker. adam’s a guy with a particular vision for youth ministry, one that has implications for how he and his family live. one of adam’s strong values is about how the gospel should be good news to the people we live among. in other words, our homes, and our youth ministries, should be present to the real people and real needs of the community around us. and adam and his family live that out.

along those lines, adam teamed up with his friend jon huckins (author of the excellent book Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling, who is likewise committed that kind of incarnational community presence) to write a 6-week youth ministry curriculum called Good News in the Neighborhood. it’s pretty robust — with videos for each of the lessons. here’s what you get:

    Printable PDF of teachers notes
    Editable Word version of teachers notes
    6 introductory video stories (One for each week)
    Multiple options for each session to fit the needs of your group (Activity ideas, discussion starters, teaching options)
    6 experiments for students to try between sessions

and here’s the outline:

    Week 1: Tuning In (Experiment: Ethnography/Observation)
    Week 2: Diving Deep (Experiment: Participating)
    Week 3: Crossing Borders (Experiment: Two-fold inviting)
    Week 4: Advocating for What Matters (Experiment: Standing up for our neighbors)
    Week 5: New Eyes (Experiment: New eyes)
    Week 6: Living a New Story (Experiment: Commissioning)

the whole thing is downloadable (including the vids).

this is one of the first forays into publishing for The Youth Cartel. you’re going to see a whole lot more of this during 2012 (we have a pipeline of cool resources in development!).

you can check it out here.

and here’s a video teaser (a trailer, of sorts):