Tag Archives: youth ministry training

the 2011 Youth Ministry Coaching Program

“The YMCP has been more fruitful and transformational in my understanding of ministry and leadership than any of my seminary classes or youth ministry conferences I’ve attended to date. As a 17 year veteran of youth ministry, I cannot think of a better way to stretch your leadership quotient or challenge your personal ministry philosophy than a year invested in the YMCP.”
– Brian Berry, Journey Community Church, La Mesa, CA

“There are lots of places to learn about the ‘what’ or ‘how’ of youth ministry. Mark Oestreicher’s YMCP leaves you with such strong sense of ‘why’ that all the other questions seem to fall into place. By focusing on personal growth and values, the YMCP has left me with a fresh view of ministry, a dozen lifetime friendships, and a wealth of knowledge. Truly nothing I have done in my life has ever brought more healthy introspection and growth towards the future. If you are wondering if it is for you, the answer is yes.”
– Luke MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, IL

The Youth Ministry Coaching Program is a whole-life yearlong coaching program for youth workers. Deeply rooted in the idea that a healthy, growing, learning youth worker will stay longer and have a deeper impact for the Kingdom, YMCP constantly returns participants to the formation and expansion of personal and ministry core values.

The cohort approach allows for 360-degrees of input. The lead coach acts as facilitator and guide on this journey; but the other youth workers in the cohort will become friends and co-conspirators, as you will be for each of them. We’ll wrestle with a wide variety of youth ministry subjects, but will also process spiritual, relational, and emotional growth, in a context of safety, honesty, and real life application and accountability.

Previous participants have said that the presentations made by themselves and others were one of the most valuable aspects of the program, allowing them the opportunity to dig deep into a subject or practical matter of their choosing, but also modeling a process of speaking into other peoples’ lives.

Each cohort of 8 – 10 meets six times throughout the year (every other month). In between meetings, cohort members stay in contact with a closed facebook group, homework partners, and one-on-one phone calls with the lead coach. During each two day meeting, each participant also receives a one-on-one coaching session and a 50-minute spiritual direction session.

For 2011, YMCP is rolling out 7 cohorts. Here’s the list of these seven, with their meeting locations, starting months, and program fees:
• San Diego, beginning in May, lead by Mark Oestreicher ($3000)
• Nashville, beginning in October, lead by Mark Oestreicher ($3000)
• Chicago, beginning in September, lead by Ginny Olson ($3000)
• Greenwich, CT (NYC area), beginning in September, lead by Brock Morgan ($2200)
• Atlanta, beginning in September, lead by Paul Martin ($2200)
• Kansas City, beginning in October, lead by Chris Folmsbee ($3000)
• Calgary/Vancouver*, beginning in October, lead by Matt Wilks ($2500)

*The Canadian cohort will meet 3x in Calgary and 3x in Vancouver, and is open only to Canadians.

Each of the lead coaches have been carefully selected, and will receive supervision from Mark Oestreicher, ensuring that each cohort experiences a high level of quality and the values of the program.

For a full description of the program, including expected outcomes, overview of the 2-day meetings, and the application process, click here to download a pdf summary.
If you have any questions, please contact Mark Oestreicher.
If you’d like an application, please email Marko at [email protected]
click here to watch the promo video.

“If you’re looking for the absolute best experience in how to stretch you and your ministry then Marko’s YMCP is for you. I have learned more in the past year in this hands on approach than in 4 years of seminary and grad school. It has been the best thing I have done both personally and professionally.”
– Robb Gossen, Carthage Nazarene Church, Carthage, MO

“The Youth Ministry Coaching Program is more than learning how to lead a small group or finding out the 10 best ways to use a pool noodle. YMCP has been designed to sharpen, challenge and encourage you personally, professionally, spiritually and relationally. This holistic approach is what makes this experience unique and successful! YMCP challenged me down to my core and I am a better Youth Pastor because of it.”
– Nikki Lowery, First Baptist Church, Stockton, CA

“Being part of YMCP has helped me better understand my calling and role in ministry. It has been great to hear what others are doing and get input into how I can better address issues in my life and role in my church.”
– Danny Long, Jamul Community Church, Jamul, CA

“Even after one meeting, this program had made a significant difference in my personal and professional life. I have already addressed issues in my ministry that would not have been possible without this group. It is exciting to think about what this will mean to me personally and to the congregation I serve. I’m grateful to know that I will always have this group to lean on.”
– Glenn Meschko, St. Helena’s Episcopal Church, Boerne, TX

“Benefiting from the experience Marko brings to the group has been great. He has an ability to discern truth that is, frankly, amazing. Marko’s love for students and youth ministers is apparent. He believes in the value of youth ministers and has a passion for developing us into better leaders.”
– Chuck Hilman, Grace UMC, Geneseo, IL

youth ministry coaching program video

tomorrow i’ll be launching the plans and application process for the 2011 youth ministry coaching program (7 cohorts this year: san diego, kansas city, chicago, nashville, calgary/vancouver, atlanta, and NYC). until then, here’s an overview video to whet your appetite:

please feel free to pass this around (facebook, twitter, etc)!!

a couple cool events i’m speaking at

two very fun events i’m speaking at in the coming weeks:

first, the future of youth ministry, on march 1. this is a one-day training event at lipscomb university, in nashville, tennessee. speakers include myself, mark devries (dude is smart!), and david fraze, among others. central tennesseans, come join us!

second, improve your serve, march 13 at highland park nazarene church, in highland park, florida. just a little 90 minute training thingy for youth workers, at the church where my friend brooklyn linsey is the junior high pastor. if you’re in the tampa or orlando area (highland park is in-between those two), come join us!

youth ministry coaching program in nashville

with the great start of the san diego cohort for the youth ministry coaching program, and a good deal of interest from youth workers on the eastern half of the united states (for whom san diego is a bit far to travel 6x in a year), i’m launching the application process for a new cohort to start this september in nashville.

critical thinking and theological reflection are extremely important for youth workers who don’t merely want to perpetuate the way things have been done in the past. but thinking and reflection are merely one portion (though a significant one) of what will help youth workers stay true to their calling and also grow in maturity and effectiveness. emotional, relational, and spiritual health are critical to long-term impact. this program is designed to provide both an opportunity for critical reflection and discussion of youth ministry issues, but also to provide safe place to process holistic growth.

in many ways, this program will surpass the training that can be offered by seminars and conventions. it will even surpass the experience of formal education. this is specifically due to the structure of the program (a small cohort with accountability, safety and shared shaping of the content), as well as the content of the program (thoughtful youth ministry dialogue, real life application, personal development, emotional honesty, and spiritual direction).

each cohort is limited to a maximum of 12 participants, and meets six times through a year for two days. meetings are supplemented with a closed social networking site for the exclusive use of the cohort, plus individual coaching (via phone) with me in-between meetings.

here are a couple quotes from people in the first cohort, currently meeting in san diego:

“Being part of YMCP has helped me better understand my calling and role in ministry. It has been great to hear what others are doing and get input into how I can better do things in my life and role in my church.”

“After one meeting this cohort has made a difference in my personal and professional life. I have already addressed issues in my ministry that would not have been possible without this group. It is exciting to think about what this will mean to me personally and to the congregation I serve. I’m grateful to know that I will always have this group to lean on.”

for a full description of the program, including expected outcomes, overview of the 2-day meetings, pricing, and the application process, click here to download a pdf summary.

for an application, or to ask any questions, please email me at [email protected]


last year, a bunch of youth workers in the midwest gathered for a dialogue around the ideas in youth ministry 3.0. i followed joel harris’s blogging about their conversations, and thought it was a very cool gathering — robust dialogue about youth ministry.

here’s how joel describes the event:

The goal of Seismos when it was started was to host a gathering (not a conference) of youth pastors that promoted dialogue and discussion among participants, was affordable, and dealt with issues that were relevant to the youth ministry that we love. Last year was a great start, with a gathering of 20 youth pastors from 4 states discussing “Youth Ministry 3.0” for three days. The conversations begun during these three days have had lasting results in our ministries, in our continued relationships, and in our personal lives.

so i was stoked when they asked me to join them this year for the second seismos event. check out joel’s post about it here. we’ll be wrestling with adolescent brain development (and its implications) as our primary theme. the event is cheap, and should be a kick.

it’s limited to 40 people, and is currently half-filled. so if you’re in illlinois, indiana, ohio, michigan or something else in that general vacinity, consider joining us!

ys one day

so, you might know that youth specialties has been doing one day training events in cities all across america for a very long time. for many who just can’t find a way to get to the national youth workers convention, these local training events are a real life saver.

for years and years, the day was called the national resource seminar for youth workers. a bunch of years ago now we changed the title to “the core”, with a vision for developing a 3 year cycle of training that we would repeat. but youth workers told us they didn’t want that. so, after living with the name that didn’t really make sense anymore for a number of years, we’ve changed the name again, to a plain and simple one:

introducing, YS ONE DAY

i’m part of the team that’s developing the content for this year (we have all new content every year). in fact, i’m writing the first of four sessions. this year’s theme is “The Bible: Bring It On!” our hope is to help youth workers connect with scripture, and equip them to help connect their teenagers to scripture. lots of great stuff planned for the day, around these four sessions:

Session 1: The Word is More than Words

The bible is the living and active word of God. It has authority, power and value in the lives of youth workers and students.

Session 2: Digging Deeper: Uncovering the Riches of Scripture

Digging deep into the word doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming. There are tools and techniques that anyone can use to understand the bible, apply it to their own lives and teach it to the students in their ministry.

Session 3: Chronological Bible Storying: Leading Students into a Fresh Encounter with God’s Word

For thousands of years, stories were the key means for Jewish and Christian people to learn and experience God. Help students to enter into the entire panorama of God’s story

Session 4: Ideas, Ideas, Ideas: More Ways for your Students to Experience Scripture

The bible is not simply a school book, a text book, or an encyclopedia. The bible is a life book, with deep implications for our lives. We desire to help students experience the Word, not just hear it and we’ve collected hundreds of practical tools and ideas to help you do just that.

snacks and a meal are included in the price also. and just a heads-up — there’s a special deal available at the national youth workers convention (for ys one day sign-ups). so, if you coming to the nywc in pitts or nash, look for that.

here are a few more things:

dates and locations

the training team (including who’s presenting in each city)

a pdf download of the flier, to give out to volunteers