The following is a transcript of interviews by Tiffany Malone of the Center for Youth Ministry Training with CYMT coaches, taken from our admissions newsletter sent March 2nd, 2021. Some of the questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.
We had the chance to sit down with some of our coaches and ask them why coaching is such a great asset to the CYMT residency and what they see as a coach’s most crucial role. Listen to what they had to say:
“I wish this was around when I started. I felt like I was in it alone. Back then, they thought you were just there to play games, but youth ministry is so much more. CYMT gives validity to what we do. Back in the day, we commiserated together but didn’t have the support you needed. You get a great, consistent support group in CYMT and a cohort full of people to share ideas.”
“Ministry, unfortunately, is done in a very lonely place. CYMT gives you support and structure to do ministry with others successfully, in a way that is changing the way that youth ministry is done.”
“I have had experience in pastoral roles within the scope of ministry in various sizes of churches. I have also had youth ministers work on my team. I wish that they could have had the formative training that my resident is getting. We are going through 25 milestones. There is so much food for thought (within those milestones), angles for ministry, professional development, and it takes the parts of ministry that would be overwhelming and walks residents through the work of doing that. Instead of being thrown out there and saying good luck, this gives residents the tools to do the work.”
My goal in coaching has been to “provide a welcoming space to share ideas, a constructive whiteboard to flesh out ideas, and a place to come to when a resident has screwed up. I can tell them, ‘Now you are a part of the club.’”
“The most important role of a coach is the opportunity to share insight from experience. In doing so, it takes the basic lessons off the page and adds relatable examples. Being a coach is invigorating for me; it encourages me to see young people on fire for ministry. Additionally, I can pray and support my resident. My resident can be honest and frank with me and it doesn’t complicate things.”
“I did not. I leaned into other youth directors. The problem with that is that it wasn’t someone coaching you. Instead, it was just throwing a bunch of ideas on the board. It is so important to have someone to walk alongside you that understands your context. I know they do that for pastors and give them someone to walk alongside them. CYMT provides the same for youth directors.”
“When I first started youth ministry, I was in college. I didn’t have a coach until I joined CYMT. I had to work to set up times to meet with other youth directors. Sometimes, I would forget how valuable those meetings were and let them slip by. In CYMT, the coaches come to you. They regularly schedule time for you.”
“When I started in youth ministry, I was blessed to have the two previous youth ministers volunteer for me. They provided support in ways I needed it and ways that I didn’t really want it. They are still coaches to me. Kris Konsowitz, CYMT Regional Director, is also a coach of mine. You don’t realize how much you need a coach until you haven’t met and find yourself spilling everything that has happened onto them.”
The Center for Youth Ministry Training (CYMT) recently received a $1.19MM grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., to fund the next phase of the Innovation Laboratory. The grant will enable CYMT to strengthen the Innovation Lab by building on what we learned from our original cohorts and tweaking our process and strategy for greater impact.
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