Since February, Ministry Architects, a consulting firm retained to create a new strategic plan for youth ministries in Greater New Jersey has been immersed in listening, learning and assessment of the opportunities for camping, campus ministries and youth. Their goal, under the leadership of Hector Burgos, Director of Connectional Ministries, is to make strategic recommendations to be presented at the 2017 Annual Conference in Wildwood in May.
Mark DeVries, president of Ministry Architects reported on his work, “You’ve got wonderful opportunities in Greater New Jersey. We’ve just begun to scratch the surface in building the systems to raise up a generation of young leaders in the conference.”
Since February, Devries and key leaders from Ministry Architects have met with 112 stakeholders in the project including youth, young adults, parents, youth workers, campus ministry workers, camp staff, pastors, and conference staff. In addition, 110 people completed surveys related to camping, collegiate, and student ministry.
An initial assessment of this work was presented to the Camp and Retreats Board on February 24th. The report included recommendations for moving forward over the next 36 months. This assessment, still being refined from its draft form, will serve as the starting point for the overall strategic plan to be presented in executive summary form to Annual Conference in May.
In April, the team is conducting a series of visioning meetings that will provide the foundation for creating clear, measurable, long and short-range targets for the conference’s camping, student, and collegiate ministries.
“There is a lot of energy throughout GNJ among local church leaders to work collaboratively in clusters, regions and throughout the conference,” said Devries, “We want to build on that.”