“So… the fall is coming. What do I do now??” As you look towards this coming calendar year, what are the steps you can take to ensure a proactively thoughtful, thriving, faith-filled offering for your youth?
We are here to help! See YMI Director Jill Old’s message below to get started.
2022 Upcoming Events and Offerings
Mark Your Calendar!
We are excited to announce that we will be holding our Yale Youth Ministry Institute events in-person at YDS and online on Zoom (register for the online ticket) this Fall. Our YBS and Center for Continuing Education events will still be held virtually. See some of our upcoming events below and be sure to check back on our YMI webpage, YBS webpage, and our Center for Continuing Education webpage for more events as they are added.
|Church Budgets in the Xennial World: Pursuing Sustainability in 2023 with Jim Elrod
September 8, 15, & 22; 12 pm
This three-part series will review church budgets and budgeting in today’s challenging environment and suggest changes you may want to implement in your budget process for 2023 and beyond.
|Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy: An Online Bible Study with Dr. Joel S. Baden
Sept. 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, & 20; 8 pm
Join us for the last three books of the Pentateuch – Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. In these six sessions, we will make our way through this maze of material, and see how the most challenging texts can also be the most rewarding.
|Register at: Church Budgets in the Xennial World: Pursuing Sustainability in 2023
|Register at: Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy: An Online Bible Study
|The Storm Isn’t Over: Ways to Support the Social Emotional Needs of Youth with Dr. Szu-Hui Lee, PhD, ABPP
September 7th; 12 – 1:30 pm
We will discuss the key social emotional impacts of the public health pandemic and social cultural epidemic we’ve all been experiencing and witnessing.
|Talking with Teens about Sex, Tech, and Faith with Dr. Kate Ott
October 5th; 12 – 1:30 pm
This event will provide a nuanced approach that prioritizes honesty and discernment over fear and judgment. Also, you will receive curricular practices that draw on core values of the Christian tradition to help teens develop a just and flourishing sexuality in the digital age.
|Register at: The Storm Isn’t Over: Ways to Support the Social Emotional Needs of Youth
|Register at: Talking with Teens about Sex, Tech, and Faith
|Creating Communities of Inclusion and Belonging for Youth with Disabilities with Dr. Erik Carter, Ph.D.
November 2nd; 12 – 1:30 pm
Dr. Carter will share a powerful framework for reflecting upon and fostering belonging within youth and other congregational ministries. Together, we will explore the implications of this work on the ways we support youth with disabilities and on the ways we spur our own churches to be more inclusive and welcoming.
|Register at: Creating Communities of Inclusion and Belonging for Youth with Disabilities
“So… the fall is coming. What do I do now??”
As we look towards this coming calendar year, what are the steps you can take to ensure a proactively thoughtful, thriving, faith-filled offering for your youth?
We are here to help! Here’s how to get started:
1. Check in on your fellow leaders, and solicit their input in planning. Are your folks tired, or are they ready to go? Tending to your team is hugely important, and August is a great month for that. Here are some resources on how to start: Recruiting, Training, and Supervising Module and Advisor-Leader Handbook. (And: if they’re more exhausted than energized, chances are good that you’ll need to pare down your expectations. Perhaps skip #2 below for now, and jump to #3.)
2. Generate a vision-rooted calendar. Take into account the input from your leadership and the mission and vision of your church and youth programs. Then, create plans that flow from the mission:
- Do you want your youth to engage in more fellowship this year? There are resources for that: Gathering Your Youth, Developing Trusted Relationships, and Team-Building.
- What about mission work—was that missing in 2021-2022? Click here: Leading Transformative Service Days and Mission Trips and Outreach, Service, and Trips.
- Is anti-racism work a priority? Check this out: Anti-Racism Module and Confronting Racism.
- Teaching your youth to be leaders? Yes! Fostering Youth Leadership.
- Hungry for more spiritual practices for youth? There’s a link for that too! Spiritual Practices in Youth Ministry Module and the Quest for the Spirit.
- Bible studies for youth? Click here, and scroll down for lessons on Genesis, Mark, or the Women of the Bible.
3. Think about what to keep, and what to discard. Even in the midst of hardship, the pandemic has been a season of sifting and sorting. Some of the ideas that have emerged from this time have allowed us to envision new ways of being the church (I’m looking at you, evening committee meetings on Zoom, from the comfort of home after a full work day!). Similarly, the pacing of your youth group offerings may have changed. What your youth most need—whether it be a renewed focus on pastoral care, or a safe space for fun and games, letting kids be kids— may have also shifted. Check out our resources Mental Health, Pastoral Care, and Resilience Module for resources on mental health and overall wellness.
4. What new thing might you wish to try? The pandemic also allowed (well, demanded might be a better word) youth leaders the chance to innovate. Is there a seed of an idea germinating in your setting? Take a look at our page on Innovation in Ministry for how to start that conversation in your church. (Editorial note: This question is not for those of you who are tired, working hard to put one foot in front of the other. To paraphrase Ecclesiastes, there’s a time for innovation, and a time for rest. Please see below.)
5. Continue to listen deeply to yourself. Burn-out is real, folks. The Great Resignation of pastors and youth leaders is real, too. Interestingly, the well-being of a group often reflects the well-being of its leaders. How are you taking care of yourself in these days? Feel free to dig deeper: Sabbath Rest and Yale Bible Study. And remember: you matter more than any program. As our Scriptures remind us over and over, you are a child of God, and you are beloved.
As always, our staff remains available to you in this season. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re looking for particular resources, or if you’d like to talk about all things youth ministry. Blessings to you in the upcoming year!
On the journey with you,
Rev. Jill Olds, Director of the Youth Ministry Institute
If you’d like to help support our mission, you can make a donation here. There is joy to be found in practicing generosity. Your gift will enable us to continue to provide the necessary tools and resources that support life changing ministries.
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