Letter from Mike Selleck

Not Mike SelleckThese are hard times for youth ministry overall. When cash is low and staff must go, it’s often the youth workers who are cut. We’re seeing strong trends, conference to conference, where youth ministry is being re-bundled with other tasks, at best, or at worst, eliminated altogether. The fact is, this down economy may be “the” economy for churches for some time to come. This does not bode well for the health and well being of youth ministries across the board as it’s been known in the past. What is needed now is a new way to support, strengthen, train, and coach youth workers. The Youthworker Movement is positioned to meet this need in extraordinary ways. We have in membership over 4,000 youth workers around the globe and over 100 of those are committed to teach, lead, pray, and guide as needed when needed. We have a huge core of folks ready to step into the breach immediately. The benefits to conferences and local churches is obvious.
The Board of Directors at The Center for Youth Ministry Excellence (CYMX) has known from the beginning that the leadership necessary to laying the foundation would likely not be the same leadership needed to build the movement to the next level. Rev. Terry Carty has given us the best start imaginable and he’s done it with relationships and storied wisdom about what it takes to build big organizations into healthy entities. We now look to Charles Harrison, a founding architect of The Youthworker Movement and founding member of The Board of Directors of CYMX, to step into the role of CEO & Executive Director and take us all to the next level.
The Center for Youth Ministry Excellence (CYMX) is a umbrella organization. With Charles we are adding to the scope of organizations that fit under that umbrella. In addition to The Youthworker Movement, The Speakers Connexion, and The Mission Matrix that currently exist, we’ll be adding new organizations: Youth Ministry Associates, The Center for Wesleyan Renewal, The Wesleyan Missionary Alliance and strong ties to other existing and emerging groups that will strategically solidify the CYMX both structurally and financially for the long term future. Charles brings unique and specific skills to the task and we have every confidence that his impact for the good of the craft of Youthwork and support of Youthworkers will be quick and excellent in every way possible.
The good news is that Terry is not going away. He will stay on staff as our Senior Consultant and serve in the position of Director Emeritus on the CYMX Board. We get the high energy and entrepreneurial nature of Charles while keeping the wisdom and institutional knowledge of Terry.
These are challenging times and with a 5 year+ head start in relationships with youthworkers around the globe, we’re at the right place to help conferences and districts meet the needs of their youth workers without breaking the bank…and we are already in route to many places who are requesting our support. We look forward to an increased presence and impact at every level of the UMC as well as other Wesleyan denominations as we move into this new phase of ministry. Charles is a solid theologian, a staunch believer in the Wesleyan way and he knows how to bring that element of faith alive to youth and youthworkers. He’s been in the trenches and he’s been around nationally and internationally. He knows what is needed and he’s ready to lead us to the next level. We’re very excited about the years ahead under Charles’ leadership!

Rev. Michael Selleck
Director of Connectional Ministries
North Georgia Conference, UMC

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