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2018 Cohort


What is the Diocese of Easton Children’s and Youth Ministry Cohort?
Studies show that churches who help young people build deep-impact relationships with caring adults are the most effective in helping kids develop a faith that “sticks”. While the most successful ministries invest in equipping their adult volunteers, too many churches are still holding out for the “pied piper” rather than investing in those who have the skills and expertise to train and equip other men and women to build relationships with children and youth. For smaller churches that don’t have the resources for paid program staff, it’s an even a greater challenge to find ways to equip a team of volunteers. Additionally, churches that have paid staff often don’t invest (or can’t invest) resources for the paid youth worker to grow professionally.

For these reasons, the Diocese of Easton has partnered with Ministry Architects to develop a cohort training model, making it possible for churches to receive practical and affordable training to help their church establish thriving, sustainable ministries to families with young children—regardless of whether participants are lay, ordained, paid staff or volunteer. These trainings are relevant for any and all who care deeply about investing in fruitful, sustainable ministries.

By strengthening adult and student leaders through teaching and coaching, participants will design a ministry plan for their church’s ministry to children, youth and young families. It is not a cookie cutter approach, but rather one designed to build systems and processes with each church’s individual context in mind.

Ministry Architects
Ministry Architects is the nation’s leading provider of children’s and youth ministry consulting. Ministry Architects partners with churches, working alongside key stakeholders—including clergy, program staff, key volunteers, parents, and students—to customize strategic plans for building successful and sustainable models of ministry.

Cohort Training Dates—See Back for Details
Sessions are held on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. at the Hillsboro Retreat Center and will include lunch. In the months between sessions each church will also receive “coaching calls” and will have assigned reading.  Saturdays: 3/3/18 – 5/5/18 – 7/7/18 – 9/8/18.

The Cost
$600 per church/cluster, $45 per individual.
This covers the cost for all sessions, a set of the books for each participant, session materials, and food. A church can pay this fee in full upon registering or can pay an initial $100 non-refundable payment and be billed for the remainder in monthly payments of $100. The diocese is subsidizing a large portion of expenses to cover the cost of the trainings, phone coaching, and the consultant’s travel.

Register Your Church
Interested churches are invited to register by clicking here. There is room for up to 15 churches to participate in 2018. If you would like to register as a “cluster” of churches, if you need financial assistance, or for any other questions please contact Joanne Fisher at the Diocesan Office. Churches can make the most of this program when they have:
Leadership in place
Leaders demonstrate gifts to become coaches/mentors to future leaders
Potential for ministry growth
Rector’s value/support of ministry to children, youth, & families

Shared Learning Experiences:
Each church establishes a team of four to seven leaders (ideally including lead program staff/volunteers, a clergy person, and key vestry members or church leaders) who meet with teams from other churches from the diocese for four learning sessions led by Ministry Architects and Joanne Fisher. This experience will help your team learn key concepts and best practices in developing a sustainable ministry for children and youth.

The following includes examples of some of the major themes and talking points for each onsite training session (7.5 hours long on Saturdays) for the year-long program:

Session 1: 3/3/18
Intro to the Diocesan Cohort Training Program
Sustainable Youth Ministry
Calendar Planning

Session 2: 5/5/18
Staffing & Resourcing (Recruitment/Training)
Christian Formation and Curriculum Planning
Focusing Outward: Networking and Collaboration

Session 3: 7/7/18
Vision: Mission Statement, Core Values, Three-Year Goals, One-Year Benchmarks, Next Steps, Organizational Chart
Equipping Students to Lead

Session 4: 9/8/18
Making It R.E.A.L.: Teaching Tips
Squaring the Corners: Youth Ministry Administration (Major Event Notebooks, Manuals, Directories, etc.)

“Tribal Time” – Small groups mixed from all the churches that will stay in the same small group for the course of the year.
“Team Time” – Together, each church group will review the day’s agenda and determine their goals for “take-aways.”
“Tech Time” – Learning helpful hints and tricks that can have huge impacts on your ministries
Learning sessions as outlined above.
Ministry Homework – Each session will have a focus area. Groups will be charged with how to apply those concepts to their own areas of ministry between training days. A book assignment will be given and a review of the reading will occur during the beginning of each follow up training.
Sign-up for coaching calls between sessions.

Each team will receive two hours of phone coaching between the onsite trainings from Melissa Rau, Ministry Architects and Joanne Fisher, Diocese of Easton. The calls will have a set agenda sent out by Melissa and will cover the homework given at the last training day. During the coaching calls, churches will be able to apply what they’ve learned during the onsite training days to their own particular ministry contexts. Teams will sign up for the coaching times at the previous onsite training day.

Each participant on the team will read books that pertain to session topics. Those on your church’s team will meet at least once at your church between each session to debrief the session, discuss the readings, and to see how each person is doing at applying the concepts personally. A one-hour phone coaching session will be scheduled each month (between session months).

THE BENEFITS: This year-long process will help each church…
Deepen each team member’s understanding of important ministry concepts and leadership practices
Develop vision and clarity for children’s ministry & youth ministry in their congregation
Develop a plan for whole-church family ministry that is fruitful and sustainable
Equip laity and develop a strong volunteer team
Incorporate children & youth into the life of the church and develop them as leaders
Build a strong culture of call within the ministry
Expand or strengthen its ministry outreach efforts
Develop a ministry administrative plan (budgeting, calendaring, database, etc.)
Equip leaders to lead meaningful gatherings and studies
Create a ministry discipleship plan according to the scope and sequence set forth by the diocese
Evaluate staffing (paid and volunteer)
And even more