Our Story

Where we’ve been and

where we’re going.

Ministry Architects was founded in 2002 by Mark DeVries. At that time, Mark was serving as the associate pastor for youth and their families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

Early in his ministry with First Presbyterian, Mark realized his “seventy-hour plus workweeks” were producing few visible signs of a ministry “off and running”. And he knew change was needed.

The results of those changes, Mark’s unique approach to ministry, is how Ministry Architects came to be.

Mark’s first book, Family-Based Youth Ministry, jump-started the national conversation about how youth workers can engage parents as the primary spiritual leaders in their homes. He soon became a frequently-sought speaker and trainer, as churches in need of something said, “Help our youth ministry look like your youth ministry.”

With those invitations and conversations, Mark quickly realized that churches did need something: to be who God was calling them to be… but with the proper systems and processes in place to help them execute that calling well. Thus, Youth Ministry Architects was born.

Just like Mark did 20+ years ago, we continue to launch our consulting projects with a process called The Assessment. This is where we visit an organization for a few days and spend the first half of the visit listening to as many stakeholders as we can. From youth to their parents, staff to volunteers, we listen and we learn. We then compose a multi-faceted report that reflects the consensus of where the ministry is today and where the church believes God might be leading. We compare specific key metrics to national norms, and we name the assets and challenges currently present. We end the report with a detailed list of recommendations and provide a strategic timeline, outlining how to move forward.

After we’ve served in the role of architect, we become the general contractor who makes sure the project is successful. We train, coach, and lift heavy loads as the church, ministry, or organization implements the recommendations from the report.

This process takes a serious commitment of time and energy from the consultant, and Mark quickly saw that if Ministry Architects was going to have a national or global impact, more consultants were needed. He taught the Ministry Architects’ principles and techniques to a handful of veteran youth workers, who then taught them to other new consultants.

Today, what once was Youth Ministry Architects has evolved into Ministry Architects, as we’ve learned that our systems and processes are applicable to more than youth ministry. Our 1000+ clients include whole churches, children’s ministries, theological institutions, non-profits, and more and more faith-based organizations every year.