Thank you for your continued investment in the Center for Youth Ministry Training. I want to share a CYMT story that is typical and extraordinary at the same time.
Tiffany studied youth ministry in college. She took a youth ministry job in California and tried to do what God had called her to do. But despite her education and calling, she found working in the church was hard, really hard. She was discouraged, frustrated, and looking for help.
Tiffany moved across the country to White House, Tenn. and began the Center for Youth Ministry Training Graduate Residency program. Over the past three years, White House UMC has thrived under her leadership. At a church with an average Sunday attendance of 170 folks, Tiffany leads a youth ministry that reaches on average 35+ students each week. Luther Seminary’s Exemplary Youth Ministry Study shows that a healthy youth ministry is usually 10% of the worshiping congregation. White House’s youth ministry ratio is 20%.
What has made the difference? Environment.
When you give to CYMT, you are not giving a scholarship so that a youth minister can go to school. You are providing the resources so that CYMT can be a catalyst to help congregations become incubators of faith. Classroom education is not enough. CYMT provides the on-the-job training necessary for youth ministers to succeed. We coach churches in how to create fertile environments where youth ministry can thrive. We provide the encouragement and support youth ministers need to make it through the frustrating and difficult challenges they face. When you give, you are bringing about change that will create an environment where young people can encounter the love of Christ.
CYMT is committed to being church environmentalists. We need your help to make this happen. CYMT must raise $40,000 each year to provide the resources necessary to change the environments of our 38 partner churches. Our fiscal year ends on June 30; please partner with us by making an investment that will produce a return of 10, 20, or even 100 fold. Make a Kingdom Investment today!
God is moving in and through CYMT to accomplish great things. As we look to 2014-15, we have some Kingdom Goals that with God’s help and yours we hope to achieve. We have several goals that help us to benchmark our progress as we continue to seek to improve our graduate residency, but here are some Kingdom-sized goals we have:
We are well on our way to achieving this goal next year. We will have 36 graduate residents this fall and our incoming class has 14 partner churches and graduate residents.
We are looking at innovative ways that would allow us to expand into other regions. We are in conversation with leaders in Charlotte, Houston, and Indianapolis. We also added our first church in the Knoxville area and are already talking with other churches there about next year.
As we seek to faithfully live into the vision God has for CYMT, we will need to continue to raise support for our mission. We are currently evaluating our capacity to hire a Development Director to join our staff and hope to identify someone in the coming months.
We have been working on the details of our Foundation Campaign over the past year. The successful hire of a Development Director will help us begin the process of securing funding to support CYMT into the future. We hope to raise funds to endow our Youth Ministry Professorship and church grants for rural and urban congregations.
Our hope is to continue to support, encourage, and equip the Tiffanys of the world for ministry. We want to come alongside churches and help them develop theologically informed and practically effective youth ministries. We do both of these things so that youth can know and experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
To learn more about investing in the mission of CYMT visit our donor page.
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.