Last year in April, I was able to be part of a challenging and encouraging 3-day gathering of youth pastors at Camp Carl in Ravenna, OH, discussing the future of youth ministry. We used Mark Oestreicher’s “Youth Ministry 3.0” as our base text for the time and had a series of discussions that considered what the various shifts in culture, adolescence, church, and families meant to us and to our youth ministries. (you can see my series of blog posts on these here)
So you can imagine my excitement not only to announce that we are holding Seismos again this spring, but that Marko will be joining us for our time together!
Here’s the scoop:
All the details (will be updated as questions arise):
The goal of Seismos when it was started was to host a gathering (not a conference) of youth pastors that promoted dialogue and discussion among participants, was affordable, and dealt with issues that were relevant to the youth ministry that we love. Last year was a great start, with a gathering of 20 youth pastors from 4 states discussing “Youth Ministry 3.0” for three days. The conversations begun during these three days have had lasting results in our ministries, in our continued relationships, and in our personal lives.
This year we continue to hold onto these goals as we also try to make this an even more profitable time. To this end we’ve connected with Mark Oestreicher, youth ministry guru & author*, to join us for our time together. Marko won’t be functioning as a “talking-head” for our gathering, but as a facilitator and guide for our time, sharing from his own wealth of knowledge, but also prompting the input of all of us as participants. Our specific topic this year is adolescence and brain development, looking at both the important recent research on the brain development of adolescence as well as the expanding range that the term “adolescence” is coming to include. Similar to last year, we have a suggested reading prior to coming, which is Barbara Strauch’s “Primal Teen”. Marko will be present with us for our whole time on Monday and our morning and afternoon sessions on Tuesday before departing and leaving us time on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning to further contextualize our conversations and process what we’ve been discussing.
Our price of $85 includes all meals during our time together, lodging, and honorarium/expenses for Marko. We’re excited to be able to offer this 3-day retreat for such a reasonable cost, thanks to the partnership of both Marko and Skyview Ranch, who offer a variety of camp experiences throughout the year.
We’re limiting the size of this gathering to the first 40 participants to sign up. We strongly desire this time to be community-driven, full of rich discussion and dialogue, and to do this we have to cap the number of people participating. We tried to think carefully through the number of people that would both make this affordable for those involved but also would keep the size small enough to encourage this community we’re striving for.
*one of the things I appreciate about Marko is that he’s not talking from a removed viewpoint. He still leads a small group of middle school boys on a regular basis as an active leader in the youth ministry at his home church. The struggles that we have and the things we’re thinking about…he can relate, because he’s right there.