It’s been a couple of days now, but our forum community now knows what the “big announcement” is. (And with close to 300 posts in the speculation thread, no one saw this coming.)
Youth Ministry Exchange Announces Membership in Gospel Communications Alliance
Youth Ministry Exchange is proud to announce its acceptance into the Gospel Communications Ministry Alliance. Gospel Communications International (http://www.gospelcommunications.org/)
is a non-profit Christian organization devoted to spreading the Gospel
through film, the internet, and other media, and its online presence is
perhaps most recognizable by its websites, Gospelcom.net,
Biblegateway.com, and ThinkChristian.com.
The Alliance is a
community of more than 200 Christian ministry websites, ranging in
topic from Bible Study to Church History to Missions and, of course,
Because of the Alliance’s history as a
prominent voice and “gathering place” for the online Christian
community, the owners of YMX have full confidence that this alliance
will be a symbiotic one where we will enjoy the benefits of an
increased visibility among that internet ministry community and the
Alliance will have its outreach to Youth Ministries the world over
enhanced by the creative output of our online community of youth
Over the coming weeks you will see some minor changes
to the site as we come into full compliance with the Alliance site
requirements. Rest assured that this alliance will add tremendous
benefit to the Youth Ministry Exchange community with minimal impact on
In the eyes of Derek and I… this is a big deal. We’re really excited about it. The funny thing to us is that we see what a huge impact it will have and the general population of the site has been, well, unimpressed.
There are a lot of “why’s” for doing this. But I do like what one member said. He wrote, “I guess that means YMX is all grown up now.” That about sums it up. This is just another step in us growing up to be a more respected source of help and encouragement for youth workers around the world.
- Credibility. Gospelcom has infinite online credibility in our primary market. In the online world, credibility is tough to come by. In the Christian world… yeah, credibility is about everything.
- Access to resources and encouragement. Let’s be honest… I don’t know much about the internet/web design/owning a business. I went to school to be a pastor, I’m full of ideas and I need people who know how to do stuff help me!
- Contributing to make Gospelcom better. We’re not in this to just take what we can get and not contribute anything. Quite to the contrary I think our surprising success at YMX has provided some things that will help other sites grow their online ministries. After all, this is all kingdom work, eh?
As far as “what does this cost the site?” I don’t think we’re giving up anything. The standards for Gospel Communications Alliance membership were actually fully covered by our terms of service. From my vantage point, this was all win and no loss. A no brainer decision.
What does this mean for Adam? Are you going to be busier?
In the past couple of weeks a fair number of people at church have begun asking me about YMX. While I try fairly hard to make certain that I keep YMX seperate from “my real job” the two are related in obvious ways. A couple of things worth mentioning about my involvement with the site. (I mean, I’ve answered this question a dozen times, so I might as well write it out!)
First, this whole thing was quite accidental! Derek and I never really thought YMX would make it very long. Sounds silly, but it’s true. Second, there is a lot in a web site that is easily delegated so it doesn’t cost me much time/effort. It’s still a very small entity and managing it is easily done on Monday’s. I’ve always tried to make myself “unavailable” for the sites needs during my normal work days… that’s why having a partner helps and a great team of volunteers who make up our mod/admin team. The coolest part of a web business is that it’s open 24 hours a day. So I have amazing flexibility. Likewise, there is almost nothing that would require me to drop everything and work on the site… so it’s really easy to manage around my two primary jobs in life… being a dad and a youth dude. If anything, the site has taught me how to delegate to others and trust that they’ll do as good of or better of a job than I would.
Two things that have me fired up about Youth Ministry Exchange.
- We’re closing in on 1,000 active members. How cool is that? Last month we had our largest month yet with 2.3 million hits. That’s a ton of traffic! We’ve got plans to expand our membership even more in 07. The Alliance is part of that and we’re looking to gain even more momentum by exhibiting the site at NYWC 07 in Atlanta this November.
- Becoming an e-zine. In January, we brought Amy on as our managing editor. She’s done an incredible job of lining up articles, editing them, and helping us go to a thematic style. The YMX storyboard is her creation and it’s very exciting to see that she’s engaging publishers, musicians, assigning articles, etc. The articles on Sex in march are going to really be impressive. I can’t wait to see how some of this plays out.
So, while I don’t think most of the members of YMX really “get it” about how the Gospel Communications Alliance membership plays into all of this. It totally does. It’s not “the solution” for growing the site, but it is a significant piece of the puzzle. Check out all the other member sites.