A Faithful Addition to the Youth Ministry

My name is Jack Liskey. This past May I graduated from Concordia University Chicago after studying psychology and theology. I am thrilled to start working in Youth Ministry at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church!

I first realized I wanted to go into ministry when I became a student leader in my own youth group while I was in high school. Going to church, youth group, and participating in missions were consistently the best part of my week. I led my first mission trip right out of high school — a group needed a host in Chicago to drive and guide the students in community service, so I volunteered and loved it! I then started working as an assistant youth director in college where I had the opportunity to watch the youth I supported delve into their faith through discussion and experience. When I realized how passionate I was with my first youth group, I discerned what I wanted to do after college. I have a passion for Jesus and a deep love for youth ministry. Seeing teenagers grow in faith is one of the greatest blessings of my life, which led me to apply to the Center for Youth Ministry Training program.

The Center for Youth Ministry Training (CYMT) is an organization that pairs aspiring youth directors and pastors with a church for a three-year residency program. The CYMT mission is to equip aspiring youth ministers to develop innovative, effective, and theologically-informed ministries so youth may experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ. While students work at a church, they attend Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary classes that focus on youth ministry, theology and the Christian Bible. Graduate residents also are supported by a Youth Ministry coach and other youth ministers in their area in the CYMT program. The Rev. Leigh DeVries, our Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families, participated in this program before pursuing ordination. BMPC decided to become a partner church this past year. I am delighted to be the CYMT Graduate Resident at BMPC and can't wait to see how God will move in my coming three years in this ministry. If you'd like to learn more about CYMT, check out its website: https://www.cymt.org/

In Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples to "go and make disciples…" (Matthew 28:19). Though we often complicate this instruction, I believe it can be as simple as living with openness, kindness and care for one another. God has a relationship with every one of us and calls us toward lives of justice and mercy. For me, the key to accomplishing Jesus' mission lies in encouraging youth to grow, showing them what it means to follow God's call to love. Sharing and living out our faith with the young people of our church is an essential part of how we fulfil Jesus' commandment of making more disciples.

I look forward to walking alongside youth at BMPC as they gain an understanding of their belovedness in Christ by participating in the ministry of Christ at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.