The Youth Worker Hall of Fame Award is given out every year at Annual Conference. This award honors outstanding individuals who have committed a lifetime to serving Jesus Christ through youth ministry. This year at the Dakotas Annual Conference held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the recipient was Diane Kisch.
Diane has been serving in youth ministry for over 25 years. Diane started helping with youth ministry when she moved to Yankton, South Dakota, in 1981. She and her husband helped serve at Yankton First United Methodist Church for many years. Diane took a break from leading youth ministry once she and her husband started their family. They both returned to serving again in 1998 once their oldest was out of high school.
Diane worked as the co-youth director at Yankton First UMC for several years. Then in 2003, Diane started counseling at Leadership Training Camp (LTC). “I went to LTC when I was in high school and saw the impact it had on me as well as other campers, so when I was asked to counsel, I jumped at the chance.”
Diane also served twelve years on Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM) as an adult leader. There, Diane saw how important youth are to the conference as well as the local churches.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Diane has taken a step back from leading youth ministry, but still helps lead confirmation with Pastor Katie Ricke, as well as serving as the financial assistant for the church.
“I do miss helping with youth ministry, Diane recalled. “I’ve missed being at LTC the past couple of years, so once COVID-19 dies down a little bit, I’m hoping to get back into more youth ministry things.”
Diane is looking forward to engaging youth more at the Conference level rather than just the local level. To Diane, having youth involved at the Conference level is vital to the youth, the local church, and the Conference.
Congratulations to Diane Kisch, the 2021 inductee to the Dakotas Conference Youth Worker Hall of Fame!