Recently I came across these postings entitled …..”EVERYONE IN YOUTH MINISTRY AGREES THAT..” and …”EVERYONE IN YOUTH MINISTRY DISAGREES THAT…”
I really enjoy Matt’s perspective…it’s honest, real, well thought out and critical….take a read and let me know what you think – agree or disagree?
Okay, well maybe not everyone agrees about these things, but it seems like we have come to a point in youth ministry that what once was cutting edge thinking is now pretty much standard fare. So, let’s stop trying to convince each other that:
- Youth ministry cannot be a completely separate ministry apart from rest of the congregation with its own logos, worship services, preachers, etc.
- It’s all about relationships, not programs.
- Inter-generational ministry produces mature faith, not locking kids in a room by themselves.
- Parents are not the enemy; they are the primary faith nurturers.
- You can’t do youth ministry alone; you need other adults and parents to help mentor kids in faith.
- Faith is caught more than it is taught.
- We need to move away from making teens consumers of faith to contributors in the faith.
- We can’t be afraid to talk about sex in the church.
- Youth ministers need rest and sabbath.
- Youth ministry as we’ve been doing it doesn’t really work very well.
- What else am I missing? I know there is more.
The above things seem to get rehashed quite a bit. The big question is: how are we going to put the above things into practice?
And, there are still things that we don’t agree on. Perhaps we should spend some more time thinking about those kinds of things. That sounds like another blog post.
Even though youth ministry has come a long way and there is a lot of good stuff that is pretty much standard fare, I think there are still a lot of unsettled issues in youth ministry. Among them:
- Are teenagers children or adults?
- To what extent can youth lead?
- How do we cultivate true leadership?
- What is the balance between congregational integration and peer-only segregation (or should there even be a balance)?
- Do we even need paid youth ministry staff?
- Is youth ministry a necessary way to minister in our culture or a structure that is reinforcing unhealthy cultural assumptions?
- Is the fairly widely documented failure of youth ministry worth the continued investment?
- What are the best alternatives to hiring inexperienced 22 year olds fresh out of college?
- Should youth ministers be grown in house or hired from the outside?
- What is the best way to train and identify quality youth ministers?
- What on earth do we do about seniors moving away to college?
- How do we provide alternatives for non college bound students?
- Is there such a thing as missional youth ministry?
- How do we best implement the stuff that we do agree on and still keep our jobs (or can we)?
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