Youth Pastor’s Passion Is Helping Other Youth Workers

Post a Comment » Written on January 27th, 2009     
Filed under: News
ALEXANDRIA, MN (January 27, 2009) – Eighty percent of the people working with teens in churches are unpaid and have little opportunity for training due to individual and congregational budget constraints, says Tim Schmoyer, a full-time, paid youth pastor at Alexandria Covenant Church.

So he set up a website where people can get training, web applications, mentoring, and other resources – for free.

The 28-year-old recalls that when he started ministering to teens elsewhere, “I was working other jobs to support my youth ministry.”

The multi-media website features videos and podcasts that focus on topics ranging from “Creating sacred spaces for worship” to “Internet accountability for youth workers.” He also hosts weekly online conversations that offer training as well as an opportunity for youth workers to connect with others across the country. The conversations are held at 2 p.m. (Eastern) each Friday.

Although Schmoyer initially provided all of the training, other experienced youth pastors now contribute to the site and lead discussions. “It’s turned into a community,” he says.

Providing training is a passion for Schmoyer. He even has set up a 10-week mentoring program for youth workers with less that two years experience. People are paired with experienced youth pastors – again for free.

Schmoyer is raising money to expand the mentoring program to be online-based and open to a broader audience – about $380 in cost, he estimates. To help support his free site, Schmoyer offers web design services.

The website goes beyond training. Because finding resources can be difficult and time-consuming, Schmoyer also gives away one resource every week. He has given away freebies every Friday for nearly 110 straight weeks. The resources may include applications for Facebook and other social media, Bible studies, games, or eBooks.

Schmoyer also initiated an online missions trip February 1-14 – it was featured in an earlier Covenant News Service story.

Despite all of his online work, Schmoyer still finds time to lead the youth ministry of 200 kids. He even coaches wrestling at the local high school.

Individuals interested in becoming involved in his online initiatives can click here to learn more.

Editor’s note: To learn more about children and youth resources offered by the Evangelical Covenant Church and its Department of Christian Formation, visit Children and Families as well as Youth and Families.

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