“One of the best rewards of being a part of YMI for me is the connection I made with other youth ministers. Meeting monthly provided enough consistency to build meaningful relationships with the others in YMI. My fellow students helped me increase my self-awareness, gave good insight, and challenged me in many ways. I’m grateful for the practical tools YMI gave me. It has been an experience well worth the time and energy!”
– Kirsten Jones, YMI class of 2009
Kirsten Jones joined the second YMI class in 2007. She came to YMI with seven years of youth ministry experience and an undergraduate degree in religious studies. What could YMI possibly teach her? She had the education and the pedigree to teach some of the classes. Well, great learners are just that. They are great learners regardless the amount of experience or education. Kirsten is a great learner, one might even say a life-long learner.
With another seven years of experience at the same church who enrolled her in YMI, Kirsten has seen the youth ministry cycle a few times. She began with 20-25 youth attending her Wednesday night youth group. Now, she has 40-50 youth crowding into her space, a 100% increase.
It has been apparent that Kirsten is still applying lessons from YMI. She coaches a cohort once per month at YMI, expertly asking the right questions so YMI students will learn as she has learned. Kirsten says of her continued learning, “The monthly trainings provided much needed time for me to step back and think about our youth ministry verses being consumed by doing ministry all the time.”
She still fosters the friendships created in YMI, traveling and meeting regularly with some of her colleagues she met through the two-year program.