Our YouthWorks Story: A Conversation With Erica Schimelpfenig

Executive Director Erica Schimelpfenig describes YouthWorks’ mission of connecting teens to God, one another and communities through life-changing, Christ-centered mission trips in this conversation with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network. Below are highlights from that conversation, or you can watch the full webinar above.

A focus on teenagers

“We make sure we are connecting with teenagers. Teenagers are learning something that is true about who God is, about who God says they are, and also about the world. We really want teenagers to walk away from our nightly worship experiences being able to capture these three things. … Through this discipleship component, teens process how they see God move through the mission trip. It’s an impactful experience for teenagers.”

The way we do missions

“Teenagers are meeting community members, and these community members are sharing their stories, the assets that they have, and the rich history that exists in these places. The teenagers are learning so much. There are also communities that have tangible needs that teenagers can meet. Teenagers can provide love and care for kids or physical labor by painting a home or building a wheelchair ramp.”

What can you expect?

“Choose a Sunday through Friday mission trip at one of our community sites. We have a variety of community types: small urban, large urban, small town and American Indian. The type of service you do can include relational ministry or hands-on work projects. We will walk with you throughout the week, getting you oriented to your site, accompanying you in service, participating in evening programming, and more.”

Explore our community sites and register your group today!

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Erica Schimelpfenig

Erica Schimelpfenig began at YouthWorks in 2000 as a summer site staff. Erica has since worked in a variety of roles such as a Recruiting Associate, Regional Director, Director of Recruiting and Director of Missions until she stepped into the Executive Director role in 2016. Erica and her husband Cody stay busy with their three kids, Jonah, Cana and Mercy. They live in North Minneapolis where they enjoy exploring Theodore Wirth Park, hanging out with friends and creating new adventures.

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