In April 2023, I launched Great Commission Youth Ministry (GCYM) after retiring as the president/founder of Youth Ministry International (YMI) in January 2023. This transition allowed me to continue my calling to train local church youth leaders globally. I am grateful for the capable leadership of Dr. Karen Jones, YMI’s new president/CEO, and I pray for the continued success and legacy of YMI.

The decision to retire from YMI was difficult but necessary in the best interests of my family and personal goals. However, one can never retire from one’s calling. GCYM allows me to continue training local church youth leaders worldwide. I am in great spirits and still have the energy and health to impact thousands of youth leaders through both online and face-to-face training. I am also writing two new books on Global Youth Ministry. The first book focuses on the teenagers and youth mentioned in the Bible who worked alongside God in ministry. My research has identified 37 of these youths so far. The second book addresses how to keep young people in our churches, engaged and growing in their faith as mature believers in Christ. I hope to complete both books by the end of 2024, and your prayers are appreciated.


Since GCYM’s inception, I have conducted U.S. local church training conferences in Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida. Looking ahead to 2024, international trips are planned to Hawaii (February), Ethiopia (March), and Mexico (April). Your prayers for these training ministries are invaluable. I am also consulting with former international youth leaders I trained in various countries. It is an honor to coach and mentor these men and women who are reaching and disciplining youth around the world.

Please continue to pray for these ministry efforts.

Alive and Growing

When I started YMI and now GCYM, I had a dream of a Youth Ministry Training MOVEMENT ignited by a strategy called “Training the Trainers.” This involves training national youth leaders to teach and train others in their own language and context. I am thrilled to share that our research survey of YMI MA Degree graduates has identified 53 trained graduates from 12 countries teaching courses and authoring youth ministry books, as pictured above, and resources in their native languages—5 books and 2 training manuals so far. The MOVEMENT is self- sufficient, fostering Interdependency rather than Dependency.

This blog is taken from a ministry update from Randy Smith, Founder and CEO of Great Commission Youth Ministry. Learn more about this organization here: GCYMTRAINING.COM

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