This week is the week of intensive courses at our Seminary. Dr. Karen Jones from Huntington University is teaching the youth ministry course called “Foundations of Youth Ministry.”
She is focusing on lesson plans and teaching/learning styles. It’s great to have her here with us.
There are lots of things I love about having professors visit Mexico and interact with my students.
Here are a few of them:
- The students get to know (and learn from) someone else besides me, who has different experiences and a different teaching style.
- The students have the chance to learn from experts in various subjects.
- The students have the opportunity to expand their network of contacts in the youth ministry world.
- Other professors get to be involved in Global Youth Ministry and can see what is happening in youth ministry in Mexico.
- The visiting professors have a better grasp on how to pray for our ministry.
- I have time to work on other projects (like our diploma in youth ministry program).
- I get to know and network personally with other youth ministry professors.
If you’re in youth ministry, have you ever thought about visiting a foreign country and sharing what you have learned in ministry with youth workers overseas? Youth Ministry International would love to be in contact with you and see how you can contribute to global youth ministry training. Contact us.
Series: Global Youth Ministry – This post is part of a series on Global Youth Ministry. Be sure to check out part 1 – Why Global Youth Ministry is Important, Part 2 – What’s a Global Youth Worker?, and Part 3 – Benefits of Being a Global Youth Worker.
Youth pastors have tons of things to do. Sometimes, when you look at your calendar, you think, “How could I possibly fit one more thing in here?” I remember that feeling. I just had it this morning.
But it doesn’t take much to be a global youth worker. Here are some practical things you can do to think globally as far as youth ministry is concerned.
- Pray specifically for missions. (Check out five times to pray for us and a great way to remember the world’s youth)
- Participate personally in missions (more than just with your group) – YMI is always looking for people who are interested in teaching courses in one of our seminary programs. You can contact us for more information.
- Teach your students about missions.
- Read biographies of missionaries and use them as examples in your teaching.
- Keep up to date with current missionaries by reading their blogs. (Check out missionary-blogs.com for a list of missionary bloggers.
- Take short term mission trips with your group. (Interested in coming to Mexico? Contact us.)
- Learn about other cultures and expressions of Christianity.
- Develop relationships with international missionaries and youth workers.
- Give to missions – books, money, resources, etc.
- Minister to international students in your area.
- Donate your time and talents to missions. There are a lot of things you can do to help the cause of Christ overseas. Get on board with what you’re good at.
If you’re interested in training youth workers internationally, please contact me or leave a comment. Youth Ministry International is constantly looking for international trainers, and I’d love to talk to you more about the opportunities there are all over the world.
Series: Global Youth Ministry
This post is part of a series on Global Youth Ministry. Be sure to check out part 1 – Why Global Youth Ministry is Important and part 2 – What’s a Global Youth Worker?
Some say that apart from church planting efforts, Global youth ministry training should be the top priority in global missions. I believe it’s a ministry that every youth worker should personally be involved in.
Obviously, I believe strongly in the mission statement of Youth Ministry International, which is “To train national youth workers for existing local churches within the people groups of the world.”
Every youth worker in the United States should be involved somehow in the training of youth workers internationally. Here are some benefits of being a global youth worker:
Five Benefits of Being a Global Youth Worker
- Personal obedience – everyone should be involved in world missions because God has commanded us to make disciples of all nations. Your participation in global youth ministry will strengthen your personal relationship with God.
- An example for your students. If you expect your young people to have a heart for missions, they need to see that you have a heart for missions. Being a global youth worker will allow them to see your burden for the nations.
- An example for your church. I always hope that my youth ministry can be an example to the church. If I am interested and involved in global missions, my students will be an example for the church through their support for global missions.
- Fulfillment using your gifts in global ministry. You may not believe me when I say this, but you have something to offer. You can pray more specifically by getting to know other youth workers overseas. You can come for a week. You can mentor long-distance. You could even go long term to train others. There are too many opportunities, and there are many different ways you can use your gifts.
- You can use your experience. Someone once told me that everything that happens to us is just part of the training for what God has for us in the future. You have experience and training that others do not, and this experience and training that you have had in your life should be put to use in the training of others.
If you’re interested in training youth workers internationally, please leave me a comment or contact me. Youth Ministry International is constantly looking for international trainers, and I’d love to talk to you more about the opportunities there are all over the world.
In part 1 of this series, I talked about a little part of the graduation last week. It was the result of 3 long, hard years of work.
Today, I wanted to write about some of the results that we’ve seen because of the Master’s in Youth Ministry program that we completed (in part) last week. All of this is what is happening in youth ministry in the country of Cuba and beyond.
It’s just a small slice of what is happening, but I hope it gives you an idea of what this incredible team is doing.
What can you do with a Master’s degree in youth ministry?
- One student has seen his youth group triple in size since he started taking the courses in the program.
- One student says that the training from the program is the backbone of what they are doing in youth ministry for his entire denomination.
- One student has seen his youth group grow at a record pace, both in numbers and in depth.
- One student is using the principles he learned to begin a ministry to university students.
- One student feels that God wants him to be a full time youth pastor and plans to seek a youth ministry position as soon as he fulfills his obligations as a senior pastor.
What can you do as a youth ministry trainer?
- There is a Center for Youth Ministry in 3 different seminaries throughout the country. There’s another one that will be started in another seminary this year.
- There is talk about starting a program at another Bible institute in Pinar del Rio in the western part of the country.
- In the Eastern Baptist Convention, they have begun to train trainers. There are 22 students preparing to be professors of youth ministry.
- Many of the students have expressed interest in carrying the vision to other nations by training in other countries, using the same modular format that was used with them.
- One of the students has begun a “national network of youth workers,” uniting youth workers throughout the country.
There are many other things that have happened to all of us on a personal level. In the next part of this series, I hope to write about how I have changed as a result of being a part of this incredible journey.
Picture: The team on top of the seminary
The last three years of my life have been invested in a project that has grown very dear to my heart. Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to see thirteen of my favorite people in the world graduate with a Master’s Degree in youth ministry.
It has been a long journey. Personally, it has been an exhausting three years, traveling each January and June, arranging for visas, charter tickets, domestic tickets, raising awareness, translating, planning, preparing, and teaching classes. I personally taught 6 and a half of the 12 courses for the Master’s program in youth ministry.
For the students, it was 3 years of reading, pre-class assignments, post-class assignments, weeks away from family, amidst personal and professional struggles. Every student involved in the program is also involved in full time ministry, leaving little time for anything else.
But the culminating moment came on Wednesday, June 11, 2008, when they called the name of 13 of my friends, associates, and students to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas from the Santa Clara Seminary, or the Baptist Seminary of Havana, or the Baptist Seminary in Santiago, or from New Pines Seminary. To see the look of accomplishment and joy on their faces gave me an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and joy.
The investment of three years has more than paid off. We are seeing a mighty work of God in Latin America, and I’m humbled to be part of it.
In part 2 of this series, I’ll write about what these students are doing with their degrees. It’s amazing.
Click a thumbnail to see a larger version.