The ELCA Youth Ministry Network’s strategic plan has taken a huge step forward. Approved in February, it has the ambitious goal that “every Network member will create and live into a plan that deepens their skills and identity in ministry.”
This goal means that every member of the Network will engage in developing a personalized plan for vocational, skill and ministry development, and the Network will provide the resources for the creation and tracking of those plans.
The Network will use a familiar platform in executing its strategic plan. “The infrastructure that was created for the Practice Discipleship Initiative is perfect to use in this new initiative,” said Todd Buegler, Network executive director. “Our plan is to once again recruit a coach for every synod, who will be trained at the Extravaganza this year in Houston. But rather than returning to their synods to lead training workshops, the coaches will return to their synods to lead a cohort group of 8-12 individuals who will work together over the course of a year to think through the elements of their plans and then will write them together.”
These cohort groups will meet for the first time at Extravaganza 2018 in Houston, Texas.
While the new strategic initiative will use the structure created for the Practice Discipleship Initiative, it will have a new name and identity to reflect the new direction and goals of the plan.
The Network has received a generous, renewable grant of $70,000 from the ELCA’s Domestic Mission Unit to fund this effort.
The team that will plan and lead this new leadership initiative will be led by Barbara Harner, a youth minister in the Washington DC area who helps to coordinate children, youth and family ministries in the Metro DC Synod.
Recruitment of synodical coaches and the development of the cohort and plan curriculums will begin in July. More information will follow soon.