Youth & Family Ministry

What We Offer (Synod)

In addition to the information found in the other tabs to the right, The Congregational Youth Ministry Coach is available to come to your area to provide education and training on the following topics. Consider grabbing a few neighboring congregations and let's create a memorable experience.

Safeguarding: Let's start with safeguarding. It is a huge topic that needs to be addressed in every congregation. Gary is well versed on the basics of what your congregation needs to do in order to comply with the Ordinances coming out of the State Attorney Generals Office. Checkout the "Safeguarding" tab as you strive to develop a safe environment for your youth, volunteers, and congregation.

Creating a Healthy Youth Ministry Culture Within Your Congregation: A foundational presentation designed to aid church folks in creating a healthy youth & family ministry culture within your congregation. Once a healthy culture has been created then intergenerational relationships flourish and programming becomes far more effective.

Faith Webbing: An active learning experience that delves deep into understanding the concept of Faith Webbing. The vision being to wrap our children and youth in a web of faith so loving and caring that they will know God and always want to be a part of a local congregation.

Back in 2014 Gary gifted one book to each Southern Ohio Synod Congregation. Search around your church for a copy. Otherwise, additional copies can be ordered from sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ebay, etc...Or you can purchase copies from Gary.  Faith Webbing Book

Outcome-Based Youth Ministry: Design your youth ministry to young people starting with defining the end result. What do you want your children and youth to be equipped to do by the time they graduate High School? (Understand the Gospel, know how to have a prayer time, learn a method of Bible Study, give a devotion, say table grace, pray out loud, know how to use a virtual concordance, etc...This experience will give your parents and volunteers ideas on how to create personal ministry plans for their children.

In 2015 Gary gifted one book to each Southern Ohio Synod Congregation on Outcome-based Youth Ministry entitled "What's In Your Bag?". Search around your church for a copy. Otherwise, additional copies can be ordered from sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ebay, etc...Or you can purchase copies from Gary.

Faith Advances: The Director of Youth & Family Ministry has developed over 30+ Faith Skills that can be built into young people. Using the concept of Outcome-Based Youth Ministry, a Faith Advance is an opportunity for youth, parents, and other congregational adults to have shared experiences that impart Faith Skills to young people, ease youth & adults into discussing important topics and lay a foundation for future teachable moments. Obtain the list from Gary and together we can tailor an event specifically for your conference, cluster or congregation.

Networking: Checkout the "Networking" tab for how we go about connecting our Synod congregations in youth & family ministry.

Service: Young people so very much want to be an asset to the faith. Help them to be the hands of Jesus in a broken world. This experience will help your congregation to define meaningful service projects that will excite, energize, and draw your young people into life long congregational service.

Active Learning Ideas for Bible Passages: Need ideas? This experience will give you as many good ideas for helping children and youth to experience the Bible as you can handle at one time.

Teaching by Learning Style: Teachers have a dominant teaching style.  Learners have a dominant learning style. Help teach and pass on the faith to the next generation by understanding and then teaching to various learning styles.

Adult Training Sessions: Do your volunteers need training? Gary visits conferences, clusters, and congregations offering opportunities for equipping those that work or volunteer with congregational ministry to young people.


Then, here is a list of the Faith Skills that Gary builds into young people. He is able to come to your venue to lead a session and/or to train adults in your congregation to lead sessions on the following topics.

Developing Spiritual Disciplines

  1. Know your purpose in life and pray through it daily
  2. Understand your God given job description and process your day
  3. Develop a meaningful prayer life and an everyday prayer sheet
  4. Learn a Personal Bible Study Method (Be in a regular Faith Growth Group)
  5. Understand the Acts 1:8 Service Philosophy
  6. Understand the Christian View of Finances
  7. Develop a Discipline of Fasting (Not necessarily food)

Personal Enhancement/People Skills

  1. Intentional Relationship Building Skills
  2. Faith Webbing: Understand the importance of and how to develop a personal faith web
  3. Create an “I Believe” statement
  4. Develop written personal standards to live by
  5. Develop a personal mission statement/direction
  6. Develop a personal ministry plan
  7. Develop an attitude of appreciation & understand its benefits
  8. Cultivate an ability to be visionary in your thinking
  9. How to spend time with people the way Jesus did
  10. Understand the concept of love languages and become aware of your primary love language
  11. Understand the basics of personality temperaments and identify your temperament
  12. Develop a biblical self-esteem
  13. Be able to introduce yourself
  14. Be trained to give faith-based talks (Story Talk Training)
  15. Give and receive compliments
  16. Find your million dollar mate

Faith Foundation/How To’s

  1. Develop Bible Usage Skills
  2. Learn how to facilitate a Bible Study
  3. Learn how to create and give a devotion
  4. Develop a prayer journal/notebook
  5. Learn how to read scripture out loud
  6. Learn how to open/close a meeting in prayer
  7. Learn how to say or lead a table grace
  8. Recognizing God Sightings
  9. Learn how to lead a service project
  10. Learn to put together a social event
  11. How to put together a vesper/camp fire
  12. Learn how to verbalize your faith
  13. Learn delegation skills
  14. Develop “Go” Thinking
  15. Learn a decision making method
Facebook Page: A Synod Youth & Family Ministry Facebook page has been created to help those interested in our favorite topic to connect with each other. To join send an email to Gary and he will get you connected with the group
Email Distribution List: A Synod Youth & Family Ministry email distribution list has been complied for updates on what's happening in the Synod in youth & family ministry. Send an email to ( to join.
ELCA Connections: By joining the Email Distribution List you will receive information on what's ongoing on with the ministries pertaining to youth ministry coming out of the church-wide office in Chicago.

Brochure: What Does a Youth & Family Ministry Congregational Coach Do?


What We Offer (Beyond the Synod) 

ELCA Resource Links