Storytelling and Youth

Storytelling and Youth

There is an old expression about faith: “Faith is more caught than taught.” And fewer things “catch” people’s attentions, empathic feelings, and imaginations better than stories.
As we listen to young people, how good are we at receiving their stories, and interweaving them with stories of faith, so that they can feel a sense of interconnectedness?

In March of 2023, YMI was pleased to host a gathering with Mark Yaconelli, who spoke to those gathered about telling stories, and deep listening practices with youth. The following videos and accompanying questions have been compiled into a resource, which we hope […]

Belonging for People with Disabilities

Creating Communities of Inclusion and Belonging for Youth with Disabilities

“The Eye Cannot Say To the Hand, “I Have No Need of You…” -1 Corinthians 12: 21

What does it mean to have a “disability”? What are the particular struggles that youth with disabilities face?

And: what are the gifts that these young people bring into a faith community?

Here at the YMI, we believe that all people are created in God’s image… and in fact, that the community would be incomplete without everyone’s presence. Unfortunately, it is unusual for those in the population of disabled persons to feel that sense of belonging, inclusion, and love.

We were pleased to recently host Dr. Erik […]

Let’s Talk About Sex

Let's Talk About Sex

“I have come that you may have life, and have it to the fullest.” -John 10:10

Youth today are vibrant and active, full of life. In every way imaginable, young people engage in the world around them, and doing their utmost to figure out what it means to live life to the fullest.

This also means that they are sexually curious.

This page is for every youth worker who has wondered about how to address the topic of sex and sexuality with young people. The YMI was pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Kate Ott to speak to our audience. Dr. Ott’s work […]

A How-to-Guide for Innovation in Your Youth Ministry

A How-to-Guide for Innovation in Your Youth Ministry

Is your youth ministry struggling? Now a few years into the pandemic, are you having trouble getting the kids to return? Are you unsure of where you’re going or what to try next? Perhaps it’s time to recalibrate, and let God lead you (and your youth) down a new path. See what The Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean has to say about the role of God as innovator and pastors as co-creators of change. 

In May of 2022, the Yale Youth Ministry Institute welcomed and hosted Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and the […]

New Youth Leader “Crash Course”

Studying the Bible with Youth

So I’m a Youth Group Leader… Now What?

Perhaps you said yes to being a youth group worker or volunteer because you have vast experience in this area. Perhaps you said yes because you felt an inner tug on your spirit to work with young people. Or… perhaps you said yes because your minister was desperate, and you didn’t feel you could say no. The following short videos and reflective questions are meant to accompany you wherever you are on this journey. These videos touch on important topics for those working with youth but are just the tip of the iceberg and […]

Resources for Ministering to LGBTQ+ Youth

LGBTQ+ Resources


“God and the Gay Christian”, by Matthew Vines
“Unclobbered”, by Colby Martin
“One Coin Found”, by Emmy Kegler
“Outside the Lines”, by Mihee Kim-Kort
“Where True Love Is: LGBTQ+ Devotionals –
“The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage”, by Mark Achtemeier
“Changing Our Mind”, by David P. Gushee
“Does Jesus Really Love Me”, by Jeff Chu

Books – Nonfiction:

“It Gets Better: Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living” by Dan Savage and Terry Miller (editors)
“Queer: The Ultimate Guide for LGBTQIA+ Teens”, by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke
“The Letter Q: Queer Writers Notes to Their Younger Selves”, by James Lecesne and Sarah Moon
“Some Assembly Required: the Not-So-Secret […]

Writings on Beacons of Joy

Writings on Beacons of Joy

Writings (click to view):

Fake Joy: Substance Abuse and Young People’s Search for Wholeness, by Joyce Mercer and Charles E. Atkins, Jr.
Family Instability, Lament and Blue Herons, by Sharon Galgay Ketcham
Looking for Joy in All the Wrong Places, by James K.A. Smith and Kyle David Bennett
Mentoring Youth for Joy in Anxious Times, by Allan Hugh Cole, Jr. and Philip Browning Helsel
Nurturing Joy: Supporting the Emotional and Spiritual Lives of Adolescents, by Nadja Reilly, Sarah F. Farmer and Katherine Hyde
Recovering Joy in the Afterburn of Violence, by Dori Baker and Patrick B. Reyes
ReVisioning Sexuality: Relational Joy […]

Writings on Nurturing Joy

November Newsletter 2021

Writings (click to view):

Adolescent Joy and Christian Worship: Awakenings and Deepenings, by Fred P. Edie
Agency: The Joy of Activism, by Almeda M. Wright and Nyle Fort
Beauty: The Light of Joy, by David F. White and John Leedy
Belonging: Paul’s Notion of Autarkes, by Michal Beth Dinkler
Creativity: The Joy of Imagining the Possible, by Stephanie Paulsell and Vanessa Zoltan
“Holding Lightly”: Cultivating Playfulness in Youth, by Courtney Goto and Lakisha Lockhart
Hope: A Pathway to Adolescent Joy and Flourishing, by Anne E. Streaty Wimberly and Sarah F. Farmer
Idolatry: Looking for Joy in All the Wrong Places, […]

Yale Youth Ministry Institute