In 16 years as a Youth Pastor and now a couple years as President of Youthmark, I have received scores of calls asking “do you have a _______ connection?” You fill in the blank: T-shirt, graphics, computer, camp, speaker, band, etc.
The longer you stay in youth ministry the more phone calls like this you will receive. Now that I’ve been in the field for nearly 20 years, I get these types of calls/texts/emails weekly.
So, I thought I’d give you three of my favorite “connections” that you could think about using if you find you have a need. Call it a free plug for them, but, I’d rather call it a wise move for you.
It was extremely difficult to narrow the list to just three, so I decided to make my list specific to the unique needs we have at Youthmark (so these could be good for others who have a business, or be a great connection for those ministry).
- Graphic Design: We use a couple different graphic designers at Youthmark. One is more connected through the publishing ventures with Spire; I really like this one too, however, I am especially thrilled whenever I get to work with Peter Beringer and PeterB Designs (peterbdesigns.com). Peter is based in Colorado Springs and is a gifted designer. If you’re looking for new logos, icons, a t-shirt design, book or album cover, or something as simple as new business cards, you ought to get in touch with PeterB Designs. For those familiar with Youthmark’s merch, the very popular “Live and Love Loudly” and “Mission51” designs came from PeterB Designs. Contact information is on the website (as well as samples of his work). Peter is a great friend, he served with me in youth ministry for years and will give you very competitive (read: more than fair) rates.
- Apparel: The two most common calls I get from Youth Pastors when it comes to referrals are: “Do you know of any churches hiring” and “do you have a t-shirt guy?” We can deal with the first question in an SMS blog-post later, but I am proud to say that I do have a great t-shirt guy. For the last couple years I have been contracting with Norwest Graphics (norwestgraphics.com). They are based in South Seattle (but can ship, so no matter where you are you’ll get a good deal). Kevin Padon is the owner; I would suggest that if you’re looking to do a shirt, sweatshirt or something else with him that you mention I suggested you contact him… I think it will lead to a good quote! It is “who you know” in some industries. They can do a design for you or you can submit your own artwork. Again, those familiar with Youthmark apparel, the quality hooded sweatshirts and t-shirts have come from our connection with Norwest.
- Audio/Visual: This has become a pretty big area of need for me since starting Youthmark and I have NO expertise in this area. Besides knowing the minimum about a sound board and how to plug a computer into a video projector I walked into the event side of Youthmark pretty blindly. Fortunately, I have a friend in Impulse Audio (which also does video). David May is the owner of this business and he works so well with his clients. Dave has gotten me really great deals on my video projector and several small components needed for our business. If you have sound or video needs for your small business, non-profit or church, Impulse Audio Inc. should be a place you check out. Contact: David at dave[at]impulseaudiovideo[dot]com; 206.650.0075.
It’s been a pleasure to work with each of these three businesses as they have played a critical role in the success of Youthmark thus far. I hope they can help you in your business, personal life and/or ministries!