Transitioning Into Youth Ministry Coaching Program   

Purpose:  To provide a one year formational experience for a cohort of beginning pastors and their congregations, establishing habits which result in the development of faithful practices for a lifelong ministry of joining God’s mission in the world.

Definition of beginning pastor: For the purpose of this program a beginning pastor is:

  1. in his/her first placement as a pastor or in an associate pastor role and
  2. within the first two years of his/her pastoral placement.

Desired Outcomes for each beginning pastor:

  1. Increase self-awareness; strengths and limitations in ministry
  2. Gain greater spiritual depth
  3. Clarify pastoral identity, authority and power
  4. Interpret scripture and reflect theologically in the local context
  5. Develop and nurture own support network and participate in a pastor-peer group
  6. Demonstrate contextual missional leadership following what God is doing in the congregation’s neighbourhood and the world.
  7. Increase personal sense of character and competency in pastoral role

Desired Outcome for our Church(es):

  1. Increase the effective ministry of new pastors in early years
  2. Increase the likelihood of long term healthy ministry to the congregation

Process for “Transitioning into Ministry”

  1. Group Coaching  

The coaching program will take place through a coach/mentor and video call with a cohort of 3 -5 beginning pastors. The number of coaching hours will be based on the need of the pastors and available resources. Coaches will be selected by our national staff and will be trained for the purposes of this program. Our intent is to have one coach for every five beginning pastors.

Coaching will involve the following annually:

  • Two sessions with beginning pastor individually
  • Five sessions with cohort group
  • Individual written feedback to each pastor by the coach

Group coaching will involve:

  • case studies with coach guided feedback from peers
  • development of personal growth goals
  • reading assignment and discussions
  • spiritual self care
  • personality inventories
  1. Pastoral Mentors

Recognizing that many conferences/area churches provide mentors for beginning pastors, we recommend that the pastor relationship continue at this regional level.  National staff will offer annual webinar training for mentors seeking to grow intentionally in this role.   Mentoring will be seen as area conference program which complements the TiM program but not a component of the TiM program.   Having a local mentor will help orient the new pastor to the specific local context and should be encouraged for all new pastors, including those in the TiM program.

  1. Youth Ministry Council Scholarship

For those beginning pastors who successfully complete their year of coaching as outlined above, a $200 scholarship will be given for attendance at the annual national youth leadership development program of Mennonite Church USA, called Youth Ministry Council.