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.