YLT Elective Classes

Elective class options for Wednesday afternoon.
You will be able to select two different classes, one class for each elective class hour.

A. Ministry Necessities

John Perritt
Director of Youth Ministry
Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church (Ridgeland, MS)

Understanding the difference between a 'need' and a 'want' can be pretty straight-forward at times.  However, there are other times when the line between a need and a want is somewhat blurred.  This can often be the case when thinking about ministry.  There are things we need to spend our time on and things we may want to spend our time on.  As life gets going and ministry is cranking along, sometimes the urgent becomes the need when in fact there are other things that are essential necessities for a healthy ministry.  This elective allows you to take a step back and look at things that are essential - not only to a healthy ministry - but essential for the heart of the one in ministry.

B. You Were Never Cool

Kurt Cooper
Minister to Youth
Trinity Presbyterian Church (Montgomery, AL)

Let me be real honest with you for a second. You aren’t very cool. You didn’t wind up doing youth ministry because you’ve always been the coolest person in the room. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your proximity to the most hip people in the church somehow makes you hip. One of the biggest mistakes a youth worker can make is to try and be something they aren’t. In this class we’ll talk about some practical ways to guard our hearts against that always attractive (and never quite attainable) idol of being liked by our students. 

C. Taking the Scenic Route

Matthew Icard
Pastor of Youth & Families
Clemson Presbyterian Church (clemson, SC)

Teaching the Bible is a good and necessary part of youth ministry, we all agree on that much. However, the Bible is a really big book and our people are all really, well, different. So how do we know what we’re supposed to teach? How do we decide which passages, books, topics, and themes are best for our various groups? And what about next semester or next year? In this elective, we’ll talk about how to develop a healthy, biblical, yet flexible approach to teaching in your particular ministry context. We’ll also talk about how to share those teaching ministries with other staff members and/or volunteers.

D. Leading Up: Fostering Strong Relationships with Your Church Staff & Senior Pastor

Mark Steimer
Pastor to Students & Director of Student Ministries
Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church (Knoxville, TN)

Youth pastors often have strained or non-existing relationships with the senior pastor or other staff.  This reality is often a result of their own insecurities.   This seminar will help you understand how to "lead up" or "love up the chain" so to speak.  As we seek to relate in this way, we are more likely to escape the 'victim' role and start loving people...thus leading well!  

E. Limitations: Learning to be Human in Ministry

Mary Beth Mebane
Senior High Assistant Director
Christ Presbyterian Church (Nashville, TN)

Are you plumb worn out? Dog tired? Running on empty? Burning the candle at three ends? Do you feel like you have to be everywhere-for-all? Fix-it-all? Know-it-all? Come as we discuss together some of the particular temptations of ministry leaders and how to lean more deeply into the (grating but glorious) fact that we are not the Christ.