Thank you for your investment in the Center for Youth Ministry Training. God continues to do amazing things in and through our ministry. We just returned from our first spring retreat, during which our graduate residents shared some of the ways God has been moving in their lives and through their ministries. Here are a few God moments they shared:
- “I was blessed to pray with one of my students as they accepted Christ for the first time!”—First Year Resident
- “I’ve made friends who are my age!”—One of our first year residents serving a small town church.
- Eight CYMT residents and alumni participated in a youth retreat, Breakthru, and shared how incredible that retreat was for their ministries.
- 12 CYMT residents and alumni attended the Tennessee UMC Conference’s Warmth in Winter event and shared how God moved in their ministries as they worshipped and learned together.
- Four of our residents and their youth groups will be participating together in the 30 Hour Famine.
- One of our other small town residents was blessed when her church family unexpectedly paid to repair her car.
This semester all of our residents are taking New Testament, and they are excited about being challenged and stretched as they deepen their biblical knowledge. Our first year students are continuing their youth ministry practicum and will be focusing on vision and curriculum development. Our second year students are taking a course called the Youth Minister as Pastor and Leader. Our third years are entering their final semester.
Our partnerships with local churches make a significant difference in the lives of the churches. For some of our churches, the visioning and strategic planning help to give the ministry traction to get moving in the right direction. For others, our coaches are their to help navigate transitions and change in the lives of the congregations. Some churches speak about the “safety net” of support that the CYMT program brings to their ministry. CYMT is privileged to feel like we are making a difference in the lives of our residents and our partner churches.
Every day CYMT graduate residents seek to faithfully share the Good News of Christ and minister to and with teenagers. They sometimes do this in big ways like fall retreats, but most often they do this in small ways as they walk with youth and their families through life.
Finally, I would like to ask your prayers for a family in Huntsville, Ala. whose son took his own life. I would specifically like to ask for you to pray for Epworth United Methodist Church and Erin Hicks, our graduate resident there, as they seek to minister to that family and community.
Dietrich “Deech” Kirk