New Network Strategic Plan

Dear friends,

The Network’s new 3-year strategic plan is going to strengthen our organization, deepen our ministry and broaden our reach.  The Network Board of Directors recently concluded our annual fall meeting, and one of our tasks (among many) was to complete the draft of the plan.

Our task between now and the Extravaganza is to edit and finalize the plan.  At our meeting in Anaheim, we hope to approve the final draft and begin implementation.

I want to share with you some of the highlights of the plan:

The Network has set a “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal”:  That goal is that by April 30, 2015 the ELCA Youth Ministry Network will have 1,000 or more members.

Our membership has hovered between 600 and 700 for the last few years, creeping up in the last year as high as 750.  It is our belief that if the Network can extend its reach, it will impact faith formation in the life of the church.  There are many more youth ministry leaders who can benefit from the resources that the Network can offer.  We hope to connect with them.

There are 7 specific initiatives that we have put together to assist us in fulfilling our goal:

  1. Growth in both new memberships and retention.
  2. Growing and strengthening the Extravaganza as the central gathering point for our community.
  3. Develop new partnerships with other ministry organizations.
  4. Increase and diversify the Network’s revenue streams to increase financial stability.
  5. Continue and strengthen the Network’s work to reflect a “Culture of Receptivity,” by increasing the diversity of the membership ethnically and geographically, and infuse the values of diversity into all of our other strategies.
  6. Strengthen our governance by deepening leadership development for the board, teams and staff.
  7. Launch a second phase of the Practice Discipleship project, which will create a variety of new education opportunities for Network members and the church, both “live” and “online.”

Each of these seven initiatives has a number of strategies under them that will help us achieve our goals.  Some will involve new programs, and others will involve strengthening existing ones.  There will be some evolutionary change.  For example, with the implementation of a strategy for financial stability, the work of the Development Team will come to a close.  Similarly, the new “Culture of Receptivity” initiative builds on the work of our Vision 2.0 team.  With the board now assuming a more active role in leading and owning that initiative, the work of the Vision 2.0 team comes to an end.  We are grateful for their time, energy and leadership in bringing us to this point.  You can read more about the Vision 2.0 initiative at its web page.

The mission of the Network is to “strengthen and empower youth ministry leaders in service to Christ.”  Our outcome is excellence in ministry with young people.  This strategic plan is going to carry this mission forward.

The work of filling in the details for each initiative will soon be complete.  We will continue to share with you these new developments as we move forward, and will continue to seek your input.  More details will be released before Thanksgiving. Our goal is to approve and launch this plan in January in Anaheim.

If you have feedback, please email me at


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