How can a small church transform its neighborhood through youth ministry? In this episode, meet Michelle Robinson and Frankye Parham of Coppin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Southside of Chicago, and listen to the Rev. Aqueelah Ligonde reflect on the church’s vision to cultivate a “new normal.”
Part One—The South Side
Host Megan DeWald sets the stage for understanding the context in which Coppin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church is developing a new form of youth ministry in the South Side of Chicago through the Institute for Youth Ministry’s Log College Project.
Part Two—New Form, New Norm
Carmelle Beaugelin discusses how Coppin understood their “youth group” to be all of the young people in the neighborhood. Design Fellow Michelle Robinson shares how she watched these youth grow and develop into Christian leaders who are dedicated to bringing transformation to their neighborhood.
Part Three—The Only Constant is Change
In the midst of the project, Coppin navigates a leadership transition, which brings Frankye Parham into the role of Design Fellow. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hits, and Coppin navigates next steps.
Part Four—So, Who’s a Youth Pastor?
The Rev. Aqueelah Ligonde, a Research Fellow for the Log College Project, reflects on how we need to redefine the role of “youth leader” in the church and consider how we can best honor the agency and gifts of young people.
Conclusion & Credits
Next week, we feature stories from First Presbyterian Church of Middletown, Ohio, and their vision to serve pop-up hospitality to young people in their community through overflowing tables of welcome and belonging.
Audio editing and production by Nii Addo Abrahams (Follow @_nickyflash_)
Music available at Epidemic Sound (https://www.epidemicsound.com/)
The IYM thanks Maiia Avelino, Aqueelah Ligonde, Tamesha Mills, Frankye Parham, Michelle Robinson, & Christine Toto.