FUNDation Strong: The Days of Your Youth

In 2002 an anonymous couple provided a gift to the Foundation which was used to seed support for youth internships. That was followed by faithful multi-year gifts from them for that purpose, as well as a gift from another couple who also recognized the need

The Foundation Board received a large undesignated bequest in 2005. While the majority of the gift was directed to the Undesignated Fund, the Board took intentional action by establishing and funding a Youth Internship Fund, the earnings of which would provide for two-year youth interns.

These young people, now referred to as residents, have the opportunity to experience all facets of youth ministry. This program is a vital part of our ministry here at Second and is contributing to the development of training up young men and women to minster around the world.

The Results

As of this past July, the program will have graduated 24 interns/residents. Of them, 19 have gone directly into full-time ministry and currently 12 of them are still involved in full-time ministry, both youth and pastoral.

Recent graduates are serving in the following capacities:

  • MK Billings— elementary coordinator at Second Presbyterian Church

  • Kit Stallings—graduate school at University of Memphis for counseling and works in Second’s recreation ministry

  • Caroline Schaefer— Assistant Athletic Director for Operations at Hutchison School

  • Michael Bowen—Assistant Director of Construction and Training at Christian Service Mission in Birmingham, AL

  • Stephen Copeland – Assistant Youth Director, Greentree Community Church (Kirkwood, MO) and a student at Covenant Theological Seminary

There are currently 3 residents on staff and are funded in part with assistance from the 2PC budget. They include:

  • Carly Roberts—graduate of Arkansas State University

  • Jordan Young—graduate of South Eastern Missouri State

  • Reed Jostes—graduate of the University of Florida

The residents continue to be trained in the areas of reformed theology and Biblical youth ministry, as well as being heavily involved in the practical aspects of youth ministry and the larger church body.

Our residents are actively involved in all of our planning and programming aspects, given target groups of students (junior and senior high) to form relationships with, attend and help lead all of our programs, and attend training meetings.

This summer, our 2ndyear resident, Reed Jostes, led one of the summer missions trips for the junior high here in Memphis working with SOS. This was a great experience for him to grow greater in confidence, leadership and ministry. All reports from Reed, the students, and adults who participated in the trips have been positive and affirming for them in their giftedness and calling in ministry.

These trips and many other experiences with the residents over the past year have further served to confirm the great need for this program to continue – not only as it impacts our own church and city, but knowing the significant need around the country for committed, solid, and trained young men and women to serve in youth ministry.

The money spent on residents is an extremely important resource for youth ministry and is used to further the advancement of His Kingdom here in Memphis and around the world.

The residency has also served to further our impact locally, in seeing God use them to reach more students on more campuses that have resulted in a growth in our outreach meetings and small group ministry.

Additionally, the residents are regularly meeting 1-on-1 with various students weekly for more intentional and in depth discipleship as they do life on life ministry with them.

Along with impact in the city of Memphis, many of our residents have been able to take their learning to a new level with the opportunity to sit in seminary classes each year. Growing in spiritual wisdom and knowledge are a part of this residency program.

There is further impact of this program in Gospel ministry around the world.

Key professors in youth ministry at Columbia International University, Gordon College, Covenant College and Taylor University have met with the Youth staff to discuss our internship/residency program and get insight into youth ministry within the church context.

Since the Internship Program began in 2002, 18 other churches have contacted us to get information on starting their own internship program.

Our youth staff has had the opportunity to train youth ministry leaders in Uganda, Mexico, Argentina, and Hungary. There have also been recent explored partnership opportunities with both the St. Andrews Olivos Church in Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as the Paulus Movement in Budapest, Hungary, to help them train their future youth leaders.

The Foundation has remained committed to this intensive mission these last 16 years. The Lord has truly blessed us all as we have seen Him use this program to further the ministry of the Gospel in our church, in our city and around the world.