Peer Ministry Leadership’s corporate’s name is EveryDay LLC, as it is a ministry that is lived every day, everywhere, and in every relationship.
PML works with all denominations. The theology is Christian, and flows from the Good Samaritan Story, with emphases on relational caring, welcoming and affirming skills. PML is a good fit for many denominations and adapts well for various settings.
Our roots are well grounded in the original peer education movement. Dr. Barbara Varenhorst is the leading pioneer for peer programs both with schools and churches. As a school counselor in Palo Alto, California, she recognized that the needs of students were greater than her staff could keep up with. As she talked with kids, she would often ask, “To whom do you turn when you have needs?” At first Varenhorst was hurt that they didn’t say, “Well, we would come to you.” Instead, they often spoke of friends whom they trusted. Varenhorst also would ask, “When a friend comes to you with a problem, do you know how to help him or her?” The answers indicated that students wished they could be better at helping. Working with the state of California, Varenhorst developed a written curriculum and began training in what was then called Peer Counseling.
Today, many programs such as Peer Helpers, Natural Helpers, Peer Mediation, and Peer Ministry all flow out of her original work.
Irene Strommen, author, trainer and organizer (husband Mert founded Search Institute and The Youth and Family Institute) worked with Dr. Varenhorst to broaden Peer Ministry by starting to include associate trainers in the Twin Cities area. Peer Ministry Leadership exists today because of her guidance and passion.
The Youth and Family Institute at Augsburg College, under the direction of Dr. Dick Hardel, became the first home for Peer Ministry Leadership. Later the Institute would leave the college campus and become its own organization. Through a 12-year period, Lyle Griner worked to broaden PML on a national level.
Peer Ministry Leadership became its own organization in 2010 when the Institute changed its name and direction to become Vibrant Faith. Today Peer Ministry Leadership seeks to train and broaden the strategies that allow youth and young adults to become relational leaders.
National Peer Ministry Director/Owner of EveryDay LLC
I want every congregation’s youth ministry to be known for producing faith leaders. PML educates the heart with caring, welcoming and affirming skills turning those wonderfully quirky, sometimes overly silly, rambunctious kids into amazing student leaders.—Lyle
- 16 years of dynamic congregational work
- National Director of Peer Ministry Leadership
- Leader of 3-week Certification School for Wartburg Theological Seminary and The Youth & Family Institute
- Creator and Instructor for Living Room Summits on family ministry
- 14 years with The Youth & Family Institute (renamed Vibrant Faith)
- Youth ministry instructor at Augsburg College, Minneapolis and Concordia University, St. Paul
- Coaching and Mentoring
- AA, Biblical Studies, MN Bible College
- Major in Middle School Education, University of Northern Iowa
- Masters in Youth and Family Ministry, Luther Seminary
- Two years’ studies and certification as a Spiritual Director, Christos Center for Spiritual Formation
- Volunteers with youth ministry at Mount Calvary, Excelsior, MN
Lyle has written numerous resources for youth and family ministry including:
- Spiritual 10’s
- Really Really Greats
- Life, Loss & Grief
- Candle Time Prayer Kit
- Doing Likewise: Talk Starts
- EveryDay Samaritan: for Early Adolescents
- Full Circle Relationships, with Tom Schwolert
- FaithTalk: Four Keyed, with Andrea Griner
- Peer Ministry Leadership Manual, with Barbara Varenhorst
- Travel Guides: Peer Ministry Leadership
- Growing Groups, with Drew Brooks
- Heart Ignite, with Diane Monroe
- Real Questions
- Scripture Talk
- Enhancing My Friends’ Self Worth
Some things people say about Lyle:
“Lyle, you make ministry fun, approachable, understandable and, most importantly doable.” —Emma (high school student)
“You shape, form and equip the future of our church. There isn’t, in my estimation, anything more important for our church today. The training of Peer Ministry Leadership is critical. The skills they learn gifts them with tools to live ministry and mission with their friends.” —Pastor Dwight, Rapid City, SD
Chad Senuta serves as the Director of Young Adult and Communication Ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. He is passionate about equipping leaders and churches to engage in effective ministry with youth and young adults. He lives in Northfield, IL with his wife Lisa and two daughters. He’s a wonderful facilitator for both Peer Ministry Leadership and PLAN-IT workshops.
Pastor Aaron David Werner, Pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church – Ida, Michigan, has been a peer ministry leader since high school. As a founding member of the Bridge Builders anti-racism leadership camp, a hospital chaplain, missionary, spiritual director and pastor, he brings his experience to training people for crisis, cross-cultural, and inter-religious peer ministry. Aaron has a passion for facilitating the soul work needed for loving everyone in a diverse world and reaching out to people on the margins. Aaron is a lively and enjoyable facilitator, helping learners honor themselves as they learn to honor and welcome others.