If you know anything about our ministry with Youth Ministry International, you know that we talk a lot about formal training and that we focus a lot of our energy on Seminary programs that will systematically train youth workers for local churches.

You may not even know that we do “informal” youth ministry training…but we do.

In fact, while I was in Mexico teaching a Seminary course about “Youth and Family Ministry,” Claudia, the director of the Seminary program, was in Merida, teaching a weekend conference on youth ministry.

Today I got this message on Facebook from a young man who was at the training event with her:

I took the training in Merida. I have a passion for working with youth, along with my wife. I would also like to open a Camp for Missions Training in Yucatan. I work here in Merida and am serving here, and I feel the need to continue to develop bivocationally. My church is small with about 50 members, and there is no philosophy of needing a youth pastor, but God has placed in me and my pastor the desire to see our church be of great impact to train leaders for Yucatan and wherever else God would lead them.

I was doubting God’s call on my life to be a pastor or missionary, and I had no idea that the Baptist denomination had a bachelor’s in youth ministry…

…Now after this training this weekend, God put an even greater burden on my heart for youth, and I feel that God might be calling me to get training for youth ministry at the Seminary…

This message does not mean that this young leader will go on to Seminary, but it does mean that there is a lot of work left to get the word out in Mexico about youth ministry.

I pray that this young man will have the opportunities to be trained and have a big impact on the lives of many young people in the Yucatan peninsula.

The reason we do informal youth ministry training is both to give current youth leaders some practical tools to be able to work better with their youth as well as giving them the opportunity to hear God’s voice and see the possibilities to get further training in youth ministry at a more formal level.