Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why YMI?

Check out this video clip for a glimpse at why ministry to youth is so vital!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ministry Update

Dear Friends,

I know it's been quite a while since I've spoken with many of you, but I hope you know that Bonnie and I are so thankful to God for the ways that each of you have made investments into our lives over the years. We are truly blessed to have such amazing friends, family and colleagues in ministry!

The purpose of this e-mail is to bring you up to date on what the Lord has been doing in our lives recently. As many of you know I have sensed the call to Youth Ministry for a very long time. Thanks to an amazing Youth Pastor (thanks PT) who instilled the passion for serving God in the area of Youth Ministry in me, I went to Bible College to study how to effectively serve God ministering to youth. From day one I've always wanted to be in youth ministry for the long haul. I have never viewed it as a stepping stone or anything like that. Over the years God has led Bonnie and I all over the place serving Him, and we've loved every minute of it!

As many of you know we left our ministry in Fishkill to move to Lakeshore Community Church in Rochester, NY about 2 years ago and have been very active in rebuilding a ministry that was shattered and broken. God has been faithful as we've seen an incredible turn around and momentum for His glory.

It's been great to be a part of this local ministry as well as the others I've been privileged to serve over the years, but over the past few years God has been working on me that the next phase of youth ministry that He wanted me involved in is in the area of training and equipping future Youth Pastors.

Almost 3 years ago I had an opportunity to go to Kiev, Ukraine on a missions trip, and there God really moved in my heart that teens around the world are in desperate need of qualified youth Pastors to minister to them. As God would have it my path crossed with a missionary with Youth Ministry International named Mike Manna, who specializes in teaching and training future Youth Pastors at Kiev Theological Seminary. His ministry is very strategic as when his students graduate they will have a formal degree sponsored by an accredited Bible College in the US (Boyce College, KY). A bachelors degree over there is hard to come by so the students who graduate in this program not only are well respected, they are well equipped to serve God in a very needed way with the youth in their culture.

I was blown away by the impact that this kind of ministry was having in Ukraine. So, to make a long story short, Bonnie & I went back to Kiev in January 2005 for a couple weeks to see about the possibility of joining YMI and Mike in Kiev. I taught one of his classes, and absolutely loved it! We went with open hearts and open minds to what God wanted us to do. The only problem was that while I loved the teaching aspect of the ministry, neither Bonnie nor I felt called to that country specifically. It was basically, I felt called to the "what", just not the "where" & the "who"...We came back from Ukraine confused with what God was doing, and how He was leading.

Over the next 2 weeks we heard from 12 different churches who were looking for a Youth Pastor, and followed God to Lakeshore in Rochester. Involvement with YMI was still in the back of my mind as I had the opportunity to go back to Ukraine in February to teach for 2 weeks and again, absolutely loved it!

Over the past 2 years I've been able to finish my masters degree in Organizational Leadership, and continue the conversation with YMI that began almost 2 and a half years ago, only this time a new position was created that seemed to fit more with what my passion, training and experience are in youth ministry some 17+ years after God launched me into the world of full time ministry.

So, again to make a long story very short, the board of directors of Youth Ministry International asked us to pray about the possibility of joining them full time in a strategic new position (VP of Training Operations) that would enable me to utilize my gifts and abilities in a way that really aligns with where I am in this phase of my ministry life (see attached job description for the details).

Bonnie and I prayed some more about it, and accepted the position about 2 weeks ago. We are excited, nervous, scared, and full of anticipation with what God is going to do as we launch into this next phase of ministry where I will in essence be training the trainers who are serving God in one of the five Centers for Youth Ministry that YMI operates around the world (Kenya, Ukraine, Cuba, Singapore, Mexico City).

Initially we will operate the ministry from Rochester as the bulk of my time will involve traveling internationally as well in the US.

This new phase of ministry that God has led us to is really stretching our faith as we will need to begin raising our own support. There is a phrase I've used with students over the years that is one that we are clinging to especially now, that phrase is "Where God Guides, God provides". We believe He's guiding so we know He will be providing.

Over the next few weeks I will be putting together an informational packet that I'll send to individuals and churches to explain our new ministry and give opportunities for them to partner with us through prayer and financial support. As you can probably imagine, we have a lot of work to do to get fully supported, but again I know God will provide. If you're interested in finding out more about YMI and what I'll be doing specifically, please reply to this e-mail with your mailing address and I'll get the packet out to you asap. If you want to pass this opportunity on to your church missions team that would be great as well.

Through the combination of individuals and churches partnering with us in prayer and financial support we know that God is going to use this team to impact this generation of teens for His Glory.

Thanks again for the ways you've always been there for us over the years, I count it a privilege to say I know each of you. Please feel free to contact me for more information on how you can partner with us. My contact information is below, as well as the YMI address should God lead you to send either a monthly contribution or a one time gift.

Serving Him together,

Brent & Bonnie Carl

P.S. Here is a link to a blog I started that will become a key tool in communicating what God is doing in our ministry

Contact Info
Brent Carl
585-413-3345 - home
585-451-9647 - cell

Support Address (include note to add to Brent Carl' account)
Youth Ministry International
1300 Envoy Circle Suite 1306
Louisville, Kentucky 40299