Rev. Pam Easterday
In 2011 another staff member at our church encouraged our Youth Minister, JJ, to attend a continuing education conference. While there, JJ learned about YMI. Tentatively he came and talked to me and then other parish leaders about the possibility of attending the Youth Ministry Institute. We quickly learned that YMI is not just about training the youth minister, but about impacting youth ministry in the midst of the whole family system of the parish.
At the time our youth ministry was tiny and struggling. Our youth minister didn’t know what to do first to help the program become healthy. YMI was the answer. Through YMI, JJ became educated, competent and confident. He learned to see the big picture. He learned how to attend to relationships. He learned educational methodology and organizational skills. He made friends with other youth ministers and no longer felt alone on the journey.
The assessment done by Youth Ministry Architects helped us to clearly see both our problems and a way forward. There was a lot of hard work to be done, but parishioners stepped forward to join the team to make new things happen.
Today our youth ministry is well-organized, healthy, growing and full of energy. The youth spaces have been totally remodeled, and we have added a second part-time youth minister to our staff. Youth ministry went from tangential to central in the life of the parish. Now the younger children in the church can’t wait to join youth group when they are old enough! Thank you YMI!
Rev. Pam Easterday, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church