Endorsements

“When one takes on the role of working with kids in church, often they soon feel like the weight and burden of the church’s spiritual care for the young falls solely on them. Regularly youth workers, paid or volunteer, fall into a sense of isolation and feelings of inadequacy as they wrestle with the overwhelming task of the role. The Covenant of the We Love Our Youth Worker mission creates an environment that envisions youth ministry as a partnership between the youth team, the congregation, parents and even kids that make for a healthier community for the entire church family. As the youth staff sees themselves as a direct expression of a church’s commitment to including and embracing the young as part of themselves, there is freedom, energy and support that can’t help but spill over into the ministry of the whole.”

Chap Clark, Vice Provost for Regional Campuses and Strategic Projects;
Professor of Youth, Family and Culture at 
Fuller Theological Seminary
Author, Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers (2nd ed)

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“Every church I’ve served has genuinely wanted to support their youth workers–both the pastors and the volunteers–but most haven’t been quite sure how to go about it.  Now the “We Love Our Youth Worker” initiative gives congregations a concrete place to begin–and gives youth workers hope:  Yes, somebody cares and wants to help.”
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Kenda Creasy Dean, Professor of Youth, Church and Culture
Princeton Theological Seminary
Author, Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church

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“Having spent much of my career in youth ministry, I have often heard congregations speak of the importance of youth in the church and the need to have quality ministry to keep youth engaged in the life of the church. I have also seen how what is communicated verbally does not always translate, often unintentionally, into support, encouragement and training for the individuals given the task of developing and executing this important work. WLOYW is a great vehicle to help congregations and youth leaders truly work together to serve youth in their growth and development as disciples of Christ.”

Harold C. Spooner, Jr., Executive Vice President
Covenant Ministries of Benevolence

President, Covenant Initiatives for Care, Inc.

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“I have found that the single biggest reason for the friction that is all-too-common between youth workers and churches boils down to mismatched expectations and both sides adopting postures of suspicion. My deep hope is that, when churches and youth workers agree to the 7 commitments in WLOYW, both will have a framework for shared expectations, and – maybe more importantly – a posture of support and mutual encouragement. Yes, Lord, may it be so!”

Mark Oestreicher, Founder
The Youth Cartel

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“I can’t think of a church or youth leader I know who wouldn’t benefit from taking the “We Love Our Youth Worker” covenant seriously.  I love that it’s reciprocal with both a church and its youth leader making commitments to each other.  That’s not just good for youth ministry—that’s the way God intends believers to experience community.” 

Kara Powell, Executive Director of Fuller Youth Institute
Member of the faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary
Author of Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids
 

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“At youthministry360 we constantly see the challenges youth workers face and believe this initiative will have tremendous impact on alleviating some of these challenges, such as burnout, lack of resources, lack of training/development, and others. By cultivating a healthy working environment for youth workers, the potential for teenagers lives to be impacted by this initiative is great, and that’s what matters most.”

Andy Blanks, Co-Founder
Youthministry360

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“The We Love Our Youth Worker Initiative is wonderful addition to the world of youth ministry. I’m excited about their leadership impact and involvement. We are thrilled to endorse it and challenge you to get involved.”

Jim BurnsPresident
HomeWord

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“In many ways, the We Love Our Youth Worker Covenant is something of a dream come true! “Raising the bar” for youth ministry – both in how the youth worker is cared for by their church and how the youth worker pledges to fulfill their responsibilities in return, has never been more critical than it is today. It is my prayer that the WLOYW covenant will help move the high calling of youth ministry to a level of even greater faithfulness and effectiveness and will help provide a longevity in ministry that will have a profound impact on in the lives of the teenagers for many decades to come”

Mark Orr, Founder and Executive Director
REACH Youth New England

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“This Covenant addresses some critical needs that currently exists within the local church context as it relates to having a youth worker on staff. The Covenant offers churches practical application on how to address some of the fundamental components of a healthy working environment for their youth worker. We strongly support this initiative and can’t wait to see the impact it will have on churches, youth workers, families and ultimately teenagers.”

Les Bradford, Co-Founder 
Youthministry360

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“They say it takes a village to raise a child. I would say this is true: it takes many caring adults to surround our youth of today aiding them to grow and thrive in a vibrant relationship with Christ. More than ever before, youth workers are needed to build deep and solid relationships with this rising generation. As they pour themselves out for Christ, they will be more effective as they are poured into by their leadership and the body of believers at large. That is why “We Love Our Youth Worker” is so timely. Since we love our youth so much, the time has come for us to raise up youth workers in this new and vital way.”

Leneita Fix, Founder
Blue Sky/Green Sky Consulting

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“Unfortunately, far too many youth workers, and churches as well, are wearing the scars of bad experiences with each other.  Youth workers who’ve felt exploited and used by the church, churches that have felt they suffered an immature, uncommitted partner in ministry.  I’m excited about WLOYW because it seeks to stand in this gap, hoping to help keep youth workers and churches from conflict, hurt, and exploitation.  But WLOYW’s action isn’t just triage, preventing further pain; it also has the wonderful potential to awaken a deeper appreciation for one another that can in turn lead to a richer eccelsiology, an ecceslosogy that seeks God’s action in the mutual ministry with and for young people.”

Andrew Root, Associate Professor in
The Olson Baalson Chair 
of Youth and Family Ministry
Luther Seminary

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“Having spent over 20 years in youth ministry I am extremely pleased to see an initiative like We Love Our Youth Worker. Because ministry with adolescents is essential to the well being of congregations and communities, it is also essential that youth workers are supported, encouraged and loved. It is my hope and prayer that We Love Our Youth Worker will foster the kinds of congregational environments which lead to supported and thriving ministry with young people.”

Rick Heltne, Senior Search Consultant
Ministry by Design/SIMA Minneapolis

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“WLOYW provides common ground for both youth workers and churches to nurture healthy partnerships necessary for advocating for adolescents over the long haul. If you’re seeking best practices for finding a youth ministry position or hiring a youth worker, look this direction.”

Steven Argue, Life Development Director
Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Adjunct Professor of Youth Ministries
Grand Rapids Theological Seminary

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“Raising a generation of disciples and leaders for the Church calls for well-equipped and well-supported Youth Workers. WLOYW is an effort to enhance that process.”

V. Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura,
Department of Youth Ministry

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

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“Congregational support is one of the keys to long term sustainability and success in youth ministry.  We Love Our Youth Worker’s covenant brings together the congregation and the youth worker in ways that will make a Kingdom impact!”

Dietrich “Deech” Kirk, Executive Director
Center for Youth Ministry Training

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“I heartily endorse the We Love Our Youth Worker: The National Covenant for Church Youth Workers. I firmly believe that all of our church staff folk need this!”

The Rev. Dr. John Ragsdale,
Associate Executive Presbyter

St. Augustine Presbytery, PC(USA)

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“The “We Love Our Youth Worker” Covenant is the kind of “rubber meets the road” commitment that can spell the difference between an ineffective, revolving-door church youth ministry and one that experiences exponential growth and impact. It’s a revolution in the way churches talk about and do ministry—one that will continually bear fruit. Sign on today and plant your flag in the ground for a healthy, sustainable youth ministry.”

Rick Lawrence, Executive Editor
GROUP Magazine

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“We Love Our Youth Worker is an initiative that invites the church and the youth worker to discern the call of youth ministry in their context. The seven promises and practices that churches commit to help establish expectations and an avenue for communications on both sides. The Covenant is a commitment on both sides to care for the youth, the leader and the church participants as they partner together in their faith journeys. So much potential if we remember who we serve and why.”

Marti Burger, Director of Christian Formation
Evangelical Covenant Church

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“Good youth work is crucial to the present and future of the Church. Most churches want it. Many value it. Few understand how to support it well.  WLOYW will serve as a great resource to inform and encourage congregations in their efforts to foster good youth ministry by supporting their youth workers.”

The Revd. Jack Gabig Ph.D., Chair of the Catechesis Task Force
Anglican Church in North America

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“I often hear from youth workers who feel deeply called to serve teenagers. But sometimes, because of miscommunication or lack of understanding between them and leaders in their congregation, they find their ministry hindered, or even terminated. Nobody wins when that happens, especially the kids! I believe We Love Our Youth Worker will significantly reduce the casualties in our churches in America. I urge you to support it.”

Doug Clark, Director of Field Ministries
National Network of Youth Ministries

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“We have been thrilled to see the ways that WLOYW has profoundly affected youth ministry in the UK, giving churches attainable, deliberate ways of building sustainable, healthy youth workers.  It’s high time this movement jumped the pond!”

Mark DeVries, President
Youth Ministry Architects

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“I would hope that all our youth min students here could be in a church that supports the We Love Our Youth Worker charter when they graduate. I am so encouraged this movement is answering a Godly impulse for integrity and wholeness among those whose calling is student ministry.”

Len Kageler, Ph.D., Professor of Youth Ministry
Nyack College, New York

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“The WLOYW covenant is really needed. It gives youth workers a strong support base. One of the dangers of youth work is being a lone ranger, the kiss of death for youth workers. I believe  youth work needs to be looked at as a long term commitment, not just a stepping stone to further one’s vocation. The covenant validates that being a youth worker is a credible, valued, long term vocation.  Being someone involved in urban outreach ministry, I appreciate that the covenant reaches beyond the boundaries of a church’s youth worker and can be effectively used in ministries based in the inner city.”

Robert (Bo) Nixon, Founder & Executive Director
New Life of New York City

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“We Love Our Youth Worker is a great tool to help strengthen healthy conversations between youth worker and pastor to talk about fair exchange and what are clear expectations. These type of commitments and focus  will only help bring about more effective youth ministries and help strengthen the church community all together to help reach a generation for Christ.”

Bo Boshers, President of LEAD222
An International Coaching and Mentoring Ministry 

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“I know that if more churches were following the promises of We Love Our Youth Worker, we’d be helping a lot fewer hurting and confused youth workers through Simply Soul Care.” 

Len Evans, Pastor
Simply Soul Care 

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“Effective evangelism needs healthy youth workers in local churches to help students grow in faith. That’s why I am excited about the We Love Our Youth Worker initiative. Students coming to faith and landing in a church that values the youth worker is what’s going to expand the Kingdom of God!”

Bob Lenz, International Speaker and Author
Founder and President of Life Promotions, Inc.

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