YS Coaching

YS Coaching will help guide you to your greatest success

Learn about YS coaching

Whether you’re just starting out, a youth ministry veteran, or somewhere in between, Youth Specialties exists to help you maximize your impact. YS Coaching is dedicated to guiding you to your greatest success – both personally and professionally.

YS Coaching is designed to help you identify your core motivations, strengths, potential blind spots, and the ways you’ve been designed to best serve God and others. These services are ideal if you’re looking to better utilize your gifts and skills, or to help if your ministry is stuck or in need of systemic or structural changes.

The combination of the assessment and your coaching experience will help give action steps and guide you as you move forward. Regardless of your current role, or your past experience, YS Coaching will give you much-needed insights and inspiration to propel you forward. It is customized to fit your life and your situation.

YS Coaching offers three different options to meet your needs:

1.) MCore Assessment and Onetime Coaching Experience

You’ll receive a personalized, detailed assessment of why and how you’re motivated to work best in ministry, combined with a one-on-one coaching session with an expert in the field. This will prove to be a short-term investment with a far-reaching reward. One coaching session will be conducted via video-chat. $149

“loved the experience and language given; it affirmed much of what I had thought while helping me figure out how I can best be used by God.” Rhiannon, Children’s Ministry Director, Minnesota

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2.) MCore Assessment and Online Coaching Experience

You and your YS Coach will capitalize on insights gleaned from the MCore assessment and identify a pathway forward, focusing on one or two immediate areas of particular need for long-term growth and stability (personally and professionally). Four one-hour coaching sessions will be conducted via video-chat. $499

“I was able to implement so much of what we covered… can’t wait to talk again!” Jay, Youth Pastor, Iowa

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3.) MCore Assessment and Onsite Coaching Experience

A YS Coach will join you in your setting for a two-day coaching experience. In addition to utilizing your MCore assessment, you’ll focus on several major components of ministry, including leadership development, core systems & structures, communications, soul-care, and much more. $1,499

“The way I lead my leaders and prioritize communication with parents is a direct result of our time together… I can’t believe what was accomplished in such a short period of time.” 
Nate, Student Pastor, Illinois

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To connect with a YS Coach or find out more about YS Coaching, email us at coaches@youthspecialties.com

YS Coaching

How it works

1. Purchase a YS Coaching Session.

2. You’ll receive a unique code from YS that leads to the proprietary MCore Assessment tool. The process helps to identify your core motivational themes. The assessment takes an average of 30-45 minutes to complete.

3. Then, you’ll complete the YS Coaching Prep Sheet, which enables us to identify which of our YS Coaches will be the best fit for your needs and schedule. Be assured, we have a strong team to serve you. Completing the prep sheet will take about 15-20 minutes.

4. We’ll connect with you to schedule your coaching experience.


Get to know the YS Coaches


Mark Matlock has been working with youth pastors, students, and parents for more than two decades. He serves as the executive director for Youth Specialties, providing leadership for programs and training events, and also oversees the student ministries at YS, including the PlanetWisdom student conferences.


Brian Aaby

Brian Aaby is the director of YS Search & YS Coaching, assisting churches with personal placement and provides coaching guidance for youth leaders. Brian served for 17 years as a youth pastor and then founded and led Youthmark since 2008. Brian speaks nationally at churches, camps, conferences, and events. He and his wife, Elisabeth, have three children and reside near Seattle.

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Grant T. Byrd

Grant T. Byrd is a minister with students. God called him into that ministry more than 30 years ago and he still loves it—he feels blessed to have served in the same church for 22 years. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Jill for 25 years and they have two teenage kids who make him proud to be a dad.

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John Cravens

John Cravens is the minister with students at First United Methodist Church Plano and has been in full time youth ministry for 14 years. John understands small church youth ministry as well as large church youth ministry, thanks to some excellent senior pastors and volunteers.


David Fraze

David Fraze (D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is the director of student ministries at The Hills Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, TX, and has been a student minister for more than 25 years. He’s also a writer who has contributed articles for Youth Specialties, ENGAGE, the quarterly journal of The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, Youth Worker Journal, Journal of Student Ministries, and the Fuller Youth Institute.


Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch serves as an associate pastor of Life Community Church, an urban-focused church plant near Dallas, where he lives with his wife, D-Ann and their two children. Fred has mentored countless students, artists, and youth workers over the years as a Youth Specialties speaker, an adjunct instructor at Christ For The Nations Institute and as the Dallas city coordinator for The DeVos Urban Leadership Institute.

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David Grant

David Grant has been serving kids and families for more than 25 years. He’s particularly passionate about leadership development within the next gen world including professional staff, adult volunteers, and especially students. He currently serves children, youth and young adults as the next gen pastor at Irving Bible Church outside of Dallas.

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Erin Sloan Jackson

Erin Sloan Jackson founded and directs the mentoring ministry, Just One Starfish. She connects and trains youth workers as the national director of community and care for The YouthWorker Movement, as faculty of the SMU Perkins School of Youth Ministry, and as a speaker at the National Youth Worker’s Convention.

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Scott Kail

Scott Kail is a 29-year youth ministry veteran currently serving as the pastor to students at Piedmont Community Church in Northern California. He has served at four other churches in that time as well as worked with Youth Specialties as a consultant/coach for the past 15 years.


Dan Mattson

For more than 20 years, Dan Mattson has mentored and coached within graduate-level learning environments, ministry settings, professional coaching relationships, consulting, training, and retreats. Through his coaching and consulting practice, Defining Point Consulting, Dan engages leaders for greater focus and effectiveness through executive coaching and leadership development.


Fred Oduyoye

Fred Oduyoye began his career in corporate sales management and then went on to serve as a full-time youth pastor. Fred’s past several years involved mentoring and training youth workers who serve in urban areas. Currently, he is the director of networking for Youth Specialties, where he connects with youth workers across the country and provides resources for their long-term sustainability.

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Tom Schwolert

Tom Schwolert has successfully helped the four churches he served at shift from being program-based to a more intergenerational, relational, and congregational focus. Tom also created Full Circle Training, unique workshops in homes that enliven the faith of families and neighborhoods.