david boerema headshot

There is a palpable eagerness to collaborate, support, and uplift one another among the NextGen workers in our district. And we want you to be a part of the camaraderie. Join a cohort, attend our annual planning meeting and make sure to get on our communications list.

David Boerema, EFCA East NextGen Director



Trent Williams

Facilitated by Trent Williams

For those within driving distance of Gaithersburg, MD, we will meet at Barking Mad Cafe from 12 pm - 2 pm.

January 18

February 22

March 4

May 16

June 27

August 1

September 12

October - District Conference

November 21

January 9, 2025


David and Shawna

Facilitated by David Boerema

For those within driving distance of Harrisburg, PA we will meet from 10 am - 12 pm and then head to lunch together.

January 18 - Susquehanna Free

February 22 - TBD

April 4 - Lebanon Area Free

May 16 - Susquehanna Free

June 27 - TBD

August 1 - Lebanon Area Free

September 12 - Susquehanna Free

October - District Conference

November 21 - Lebanon Area Free

January 9, 2025 - Lebanon Area Free


Josh Balsamo

Facilitated by Josh Balsamo

For those within driving distance of Dix Hills, NY we will meet at Chick Fil A from 1 pm - 3 pm. Don't forget the LIRR train as an option.

February 23

April 19

May 17

June 20

July 26

August 23

September 20

October - District Conference

November 22

December 20



Jim Thorpe

We are headed to Jim Thorpe, PA this spring for our annual planning retreat. Get away for spiritual refreshment and to seek the Lord for the direction you should lead your ministry in the coming year. This is a fantastic time to connect, pray and plan. Our new ReachStudents National Director, Paul Miller will be joining us!

March 11 - 13, 2024



The EFCA's biennial national gathering for students entering 7th grade through completion of 12th grade. Challenge is a catalytic environment that moves beyond the mountaintop moment to building missional momentum within your group.

July 1 - 5. 2024 in Kansas City, MO

APEX Missions


Summer Missions for youth groups and college age students in the US and Internationally with EFCA and ReachGlobal partners. These experiences are designed to help students take next steps in their journey with Christ. open their hearts to missions and prepare them to be gospel influencers when they return home.


Session 1



Session 2 with guest Jordan Biere, US Director for Youth Alpha



What you need to say to younger leaders.

Clarity, Equipping And Empowerment In Kid Ministry with Melissa Diem and Faith Church Staff

Sushi Talk | Reaching The Next Generation


Discipleship Pathways for Kids

By Brooke Whitson

When it comes to discipling children, there is no limit to the thoughts, patterns, and opinions you can find online. You can probably ask around your immediate community and get another few dozen different answers. So how do we disciple today’s children in our churches, and how do we know if our discipleship practices are…

When Youth Culture is a Foreign Culture

By Russ Allen

Three years ago, I felt old.   And I was only 28.   This reality came crashing down on me one evening when I met with a few high school students for a typical Bible study. During the normal game and hangout portion of the night, students asked if I wanted to join them in playing a…

How To Build A Healthy Kids Ministry

By Terry Allison

The COVID pandemic has revealed some previously hidden spiritual weaknesses in our churches. As we assess the damage and take steps to lead our churches to better spiritual health, we must not overlook the health of our children and children’s ministries. We wouldn’t be the first to make that fatal mistake. Why Is a Healthy…

Parents: The Wisest Among Us

By David Boerema

Assumptions are the Achilles heel of relationships. Left on their own, with no truth to keep them in check, assumptions can grow into an impenetrable barrier. Any hope of relationship understanding or commonality is overshadowed by a belief that we already know what the other person is thinking. One’s motivation, no matter how pure, is…

Don’t Fail the Next Generation of Missionaries.

By David Boerema

I have served in the EFCA for over 20 years. Every one of them was focused on the next generation. As I look back on my time as a youth pastor at three different churches, I have fond memories of the students and families that I had the privilege of serving. Those places of ministry…

How To Deal With Parents in Youth Ministry

By David Boerema

“You have no idea what it’s like to be a parent of a high school student. You’ll understand once you have kids of your own.”  My best laid plans to help fell flat. As these parents left my office my first thought was: “I’m a total failure. Is Walmart hiring?” My second thought was: “Those…

5 Questions To Consider Before Your Next Mission Trip

By David Boerema

It’s that time of year when many student ministry leaders are making critical decisions about how they will leverage summer trips and where they will take students. Endless flyers, mailings, emails and social media blasts try to grab our attention. It’s hard to make sense of it all and choose the right organizations to partner…

Do Numbers Matter? 8 Ways To Measure Success In Ministry.

By Tim Gardner

Let’s be honest… We don’t like to talk numbers.  We’re afraid that if we talk about the numbers, then the numbers are the only important thing when measuring the success of a ministry. If we focus on size, then the size of the ministry will determine its value or importance.  But we all know the…

Megachurches Aren’t Evil: 4 Things I Learned From A “Famous” Church.

By David Boerema

Juggling the rolls of EDA Next Gen Director and Apex Director allows me the opportunity to stay connected with youth pastors, high school and college students. I’m always curious to see what they are talking about and what holds their interest.  This summer I had the opportunity to visit a large church that is led…

Stop Losing Your Young People

By Kevin Ozolins

I recently came across an article about someone who zealously joined the alt-right movement, quickly rising through the ranks and becoming a well-respected member and moderator of various internet communities devoted to white nationalism. He spent his time befriending Neo-Nazis, and even instructing his family on what to do if the FBI showed up at…

4 Ways To Reach The Next Generation Right Now

By David Boerema

Despair has a permeant address deep in his gut. Everything he reads paints the picture that it’s his fault and the damage has been done. He knows something must change, but in the church that seems less likely than addressing the issue itself.  If he were honest, he doesn’t want to read, study, converse or even consider…

5 of The Best Leadership Podcasts for Youth Pastors

By Tim Gardner

I enjoy reading. I go against the grain as a millennial because I like holding a physical book in one hand and a pen in the other. But with the demands of life (ministry, young kids, and the never-ending supply of leaves falling on my freshly-raked lawn), there’s just not enough time. Enter podcasts. The…

What you need to say to younger leaders.

By Joshua Ott

By Josh Ott This was never my dream for my life – this thing we call pastoring, leading in a church. I’m a pastor’s kid who grew up in a really good EFCA church, a pastor’s kid who had amazing parents who demonstrated their love for Jesus and their love for their kids every day.…

3 Meaningful Ways to Launch Seniors

By Tim Gardner

By Tim Gardner We’re in the midst of move-up season, and there seems to be a celebration for everything from preschool closing programs to senior proms. For many, this season is both exciting and difficult as people enter new grades and new phases. For high school seniors, this marks one of the most critical transitions…


By Dan Reeve

Can we tawk about the… minor leagues? Yup, I’m a Yankees fan! Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let me talk about Ben Heller and life in Scranton, PA. Last month, Heller was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after making just one appearance for the Yankees. He recorded one out while allowing a walk and a hit…

10 Ways To Communicate To And Engage Millennials

By Joshua Ott

Ever wonder if you will be able to continue to communicate effectively to younger people as you get older? I hate that the church world seems to suggest you have to be young to communicate well to young people. So I put together the top 10 ways to communicate to and engage millennial…ensuring your future…

Building A Leadership Pipeline For The Next Generation

By David Boerema

The chair was oversized, soft and the perfect place for a late afternoon nap. With kids running around the living room and dinner preparations clanging in the kitchen, he slipped into blissful slumber. We watched in amazement as he slept through all the commotion. Nothing could wake him. Without warning the incredibly annoying alarm vibrated the entire condo…