May, 2017


The Minneapolis/St Paul metro area and surrounding region gathered April 20 for a day filled with live worship, challenging keynote addresses, small group workshops, and warm conversations with their Y counterparts.

Now in its second year, Serve To Lead attracted a crowd of more than 130 enthusiastic participants at the University of Minnesota, growing approximately 60% from last year’s event. This included representatives from 20 branches of the local association, nine departments from the administrative offices, five area camps, and eight out of state YMCAs. Bjorn Dixon, Director of the YMCA of Greater Twin Cities Christian Principles Network, couldn’t have been more pleased with the results of the event. 

Keynote speakers included David Newman from the Antioch Church in the YMCA, and Laurel Bunker, Dean of Campus Ministries and Campus Pastor at Bethel University. Breakout sessions included topics such as servant leadership, cultural competency, work/life balance, church partnerships, and when helping hurts.

A few testimonials from those in attendance:

Wow! I am so refreshed in my purpose…”

“I got to connect with other Y professionals and be rejuvenated with the passion and spirit that embodies our organization.”

“I was able to bring prospective Y church partners to attend. They were amazed at how God is working in the Y.”

“It helped me confirm why I chose to get paid less and be employed by the YMCA over other money-focused health facilities.”

“I really needed today’s conference. It addressed so many doubts I was struggling with in my personal and professional life. It hit me where it was needed. I am so thankful to work for this organization!”

Serve To Lead is a model that other YMCAs may want to adopt to bring a Christian expression into their own associations. We support that initiative and congratulate the team at the YMCA of Greater Twin Cities on both this successful event and their leadership in developing a model that can be emulated by others.