For many years now YMI has been our “go-to” consulting and training partner for youth ministry in our congregation. We have sent three youth directors or associate youth directors through the comprehensive YMI training, and in every case the persons we sent were better equipped both theologically and pragmatically to serve with success. Also in every case, we had to insist that they go through the YMI program because youth workers in general think they already have all the answers. This probably comes from the “crush cult” of popularity associated with the job. Youth leaders receive so much positive feedback from the youth (and often rightly so) they rarely see the benefit of a months-long intensive learning experience with peers. However, once into the program, and always on the other side of certification, without exception, each youth leader in which we have invested with YMI says the same thing: “Best experience ever. I learned SO MUCH. I think every youth director should go through YMI.
But our YMI partnership has not been limited to youth director learning and best practices. Steve Schneeberger has personally consulted with our youth ministry design team and clergy leaders to craft a clear set of expectations for what we are seeking when openings occur. Youth ministry is not a “one size fits all” kind of hiring challenge. Each church and even each set of church leaders, including clergy, has a unique culture, and success for the new youth director, the youth, the parents, and the local church ministry depends on defining and understanding that particular culture and then hiring to it.
YMI also consulted with us in the actual hiring processes, including reviewing process, classifying resumes and structuring interviews.
St. Luke’s is filled with very capable leaders, given our proximity to the entertainment communities and attractions in Orlando, but successful youth ministry recruitment and continuing education in the local congregation is a unique challenge that can confound even the best HR professionals.
Resist the temptation to “go it alone.” Go with YMI.
Bill Barnes, Senior Pastor, St. Luke’s UMC – Orlando, FL