This is the second post on the value of CEF Communities of Practice (CoP's). Communities are now forming in the member section of this website. Find yours today!
When I first moved to Portland about 3 years ago, I began to search around the area for colleagues in youth ministry. I found a group that was meeting once a month in a local coffeehouse and they graciously invited me to join them. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in to, was it a covenant group? A social group? What I found was a great group of passionate youth ministers to meet with.
We engaged with each other around the complex issues of youth ministry, in particular how to connect with students in the spiritual but not religious culture of the Pacific Northwest. We shared stories of success and failure, swapped program ideas, held each other accountable and lifted one another in prayer. As we started to become more comfortable with each other we decided to find ways that we could work together. We planned programs, held events together and eventually started to put together information that we could share with youth ministers in our larger Methodist connection.
This has been one of the most helpful groups that I have ever been a part of in my ministry career. Until recently we haven’t known how to identify our group but after learning more about the new direction of CEF we feel comfortable calling ourselves a Community of Practice. I look forward to continuing our work in the field of youth ministry, sharing our learnings, and finding ways to take our Community of Practice in new directions.
Rev. Jeff Lowery
United Methodist Deacon