The CYMT Innovation Laboratory seeks to (a) foster the creation of new models of youth ministry beyond the tired youth group model, (b) discover and name congregational characteristics that either promote or hinder innovative ability, and (c) refine our approach to successfully leading congregations through a practical theological innovation design process. Ultimately, the Innovation Lab will help to shape the future of youth ministry.
The Center for Youth Ministry Training has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to create an Innovation Laboratory for the faith formation of young people. We believe that the modern formula for youth ministry, which emphasizes gathering peer-based groups as the dominant model, needs updating. We believe we have been called to create and innovate in the image of our Creator. As we bring design thinking into conversation with practical theology, we want to help youth ministers develop the ability to create and test new models and approaches that organically fit into their congregational context.
To this end, we are seeking 10 lead innovators to participate in our Innovation Lab. Our lab is designed to develop new practical models for ministry that are theologically grounded and which seek to better intersect with the real lives of adolescents. Lead innovators will spend 2.5 years walking through our Theological Innovation Process and prototyping their ideas for youth ministry alongside teams from their congregations. As a lead innovator, you will be paired with a coach to help you navigate the innovation process, and you will be in a cohort with other Innovation Lab churches. You and your church will both receive funding — a stipend for you, and seed money to implement your congregation’s ideas. A timeline of the grant can be found below.
Want to know more about CYMT or a particular program? We’d
love to send you more information!