i’m really stoked about this. message boards used to be a massive part of the ys website. but it got out of control and a bit ingrown. we took them down for a period of time, then decided to let other forums that had sprung up fill the gap. the best of those grass-roots online community efforts was youth ministry exchange (ymx), started by adam mclane and derek tang (later, jointly owned by adam and patti gibbons). ys has had a great relationship with ymx, and sent a good deal of traffic their way. and, over the years, ymx has developed into a full-fledged youth ministry site with articles, reviews, and lots of other stuff, in addition to their message boards.
when we (ys) were getting ready to relaunch our website, we wanted to add community elements back in, and thought it seemed silly to “compete” with ymx. so we approached adam and patti about bringing ymx on board at ys, and hiring adam as our full-time online community dude (a role he started in a few weeks ago).
my hope is that ymx will really flourish as part of ys, and provide a great space for interaction and community for an even-wider audience of youth workers.
adam posted a great q&a about the acquisition, his motives, and other stuff here.
and, here’s the official press release:
Youth Specialties Acquires Youth Ministry Exchange
Companies offer complementary resources, share common mission, vision
Youth Specialties, El Cajon, CA., June 18, 2008 – Youth Specialties, a division of Zondervan, a youth ministry organization that provides quality publications, resources, training, and encouragement for youth workers and youth-oriented organizations around the world today announced it has acquired Youth Ministry Exchange, a website devoted to serving, supporting and encouraging Youth Workers globally. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The acquisition will allow both parties to work together to provide more resources and support for Youth Workers and their mission. YMX will currently remain a stand alone website supported by Youth Specialties.
“It just made sense to bring Youth Ministry Exchange back to Youth Specialties and be able to empower them to reach further in their mission with the support of YS,” said Mark Oestreicher, Youth Specialties President. “We’re thrilled with the site that Adam McLane, Patti Gibbons, and their leadership team have built over the past few years. We plan to continue to grow its reputation and support the network that has become an integral part of the Youth Worker world.” “YMX is excited to join the Youth Specialties family as we continue on our mission to connect youth workers to an online community,” said Adam McLane, President, Youth Ministry Exchange.
About Youth Specialties For nearly 40 years, Youth Specialties has worked alongside Christian youth workers of nearly every denomination and youth-serving organization. Each year, Youth Specialties serves more than 100,000 youth workers worldwide through training seminars and conventions, resources and the Internet. Youth Specialties produces the YS National Youth Workers Convention for more than 15,000 youth workers each fall; and in the spring hosts the CORE™ training day for 20,000 youth workers. For more information, visit www.youthspecialties.com.
Zondervan, a HarperCollins company, is a world leader in Christian communications and the leading Christian publishing brand. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with offices in San Diego and Miami, Zondervan conducts events and publishes its bestselling Bibles, books, audio, video, curriculum, software, and digital products through its Zondervan, eZondervan, Zonderkidz, Youth Specialties, Editorial Vida, and National Pastors Convention brands. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online, and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan on the Internet at www.zondervan.com.