God has not forgotten us, and we have not forgotten you either. We know our larger CYMT community is navigating some incredibly turbulent waters right now. We want you to know that we are praying for you. You are on our minds and we lift you up daily. None of us knows what lies ahead, but we do know that God is faithful and, in return, we must also remain faithful and steadfast, trusting in God’s compassionate love.
We also want to thank you, our CYMT supporters. You have sustained CYMT with your spiritual and financial gifts for the past 14 years. Please know how grateful we are that you are just as passionate about our impact on the spiritual formation of youth as we are. Thank you for your investment in these young hearts, who are growing into spiritual and community leaders. This global health crisis will affect their future for many years to come, and your support will pay out amazing dividends in ways we cannot imagine.
As we manage the new reality brought on by this pandemic, we are also discovering new ways to minister to the youth in our country who need equipped, committed youth pastors now more than ever. Our youth ministers are using technology to continue to minister to youth. Youth groups are meeting on Zoom and Instagram Live. Youth Ministers are using texting, Facebook, Instagram, MarcoPolo, and other apps to connect with teenagers. I even heard that they are making phone calls and using a new technology called letter writing. Emily in Dyersburg is posting Church Bus Theology videos to help disciple and engage her youth. Some of our youth ministries have actually seen an increase in attendance albeit digitally as youth have more availability. As “safer at home” continues, we will continue to support our 50+ residents and 100+ alumni as they seek to share the Good News. We remain dedicated to our mission of investing in youth so that they know they are not alone, regardless of their circumstance. Please be praying for them during this extraordinary time.
The most significant impact that COVID-19 has had on the operational side of CYMT is that we have postponed fundraising events in Nashville, Memphis, Houston, and Austin. We hope to reschedule these events in the early fall. In the meantime, CYMT will be having an online campaign in May to bridge the gap until those events can happen. We will be sharing more about that event in the coming weeks.
If you have a specific prayer request or need, please do not hesitate to contact us. We know this is impacting everyone. We are serious when we say we care for you; we value our relationship and shared ministry. Brady Banks, John Rivas, or I (Deech Kirk) would be honored to pray for you.
Deech and the CYMT Staff
CYMT is proud to announce the expansion of our original initiative into Theology Together 2.0. CYMT aims to develop a curriculum to be used in local congregations and ministries. Taking what we have learned about engaging youth in deep theological reflection during missional experiences and embedding those processes into congregational youth ministries.
"I hope students come away from my courses with the ability to think more deeply, richly and theologically about their youth ministry practice. I think a lot of what happens in youth ministry happens unreflectively and can be deforming to young people, and my courses are intended to give students a theological framework for evaluating and reforming their youth ministry practice."
Of course, I want students to drink deeply from the academic readings, lectures and discussions, and I want them to be informed by the academics. But more than that, I want them to see that youth ministry is a calling of God, an important part of God’s mission in the world, one that should give them pride and evoke humility at the same time.