as is often the case with magazine interviews, the resulting article isn’t quite what i’d hoped it would be. the new issue of christianity today is a 50th anniversary issue, and they have a collection of article on the next 50 years in various ministry areas.
but the interviewer ask SUCH intriguing questions, like, “tell me what will be different about youth ministry in 50 years.” i mean, 50 years? that’s a long time. i said something like: i expect, in the next 20 years, we’ll continue to see a widening gap in approach between those who want to put on a good show and get as many kids attending as possible, and those who are turning their back on those values in search of something else. then, by the time we get to the 50 year mark, i think churches will be in financial crisis, as giving to churches continues to decrease. i think the profession of youth ministry will be in crisis, as many church will cut their paid youth staff. and as critical and helpful as i think it was for youth ministry to go through a professionalization back in the 70s and 80s, i think this de-professionalization (let’s say it will happen in the 2020s and 2030s) will be just as helpful for youth ministry, as it will force our hand on several issues and approaches and values we hold onto because our jobs depend on it.
anyhow. the resulting CT article isn’t bad — i agree with pretty much everything in there. i was just hoping for more. anyone else want to give their 50 year predictions for youth ministry. ooh — i know — i’ll invite anyone to share in the comments section; but i’m going tag the following people and ask that they post about it: mark riddle, mike king, tony jones, scot mcknight (yeah, scot, i know you don’t know much about youth ministry — but i’d still love to hear your guesses!), andrew seely, mark helsel, kurt johnston, andy jack (who appears to have stopped blogging, but i know would have a great response), and the nifty gaggle of peeps over at youthministryexchange.com (a great discussion forum — only $5 for the year for full access). oh, and let’s get a couple non-u.s. perspectives: sivin kit (from malaysia), jonny baker (uk), and sam harvey (my new friend from nz who leads soulsurvivor nz). and let’s add some female voices: bobbie, lilly lewin, and tash mcgill (a kiwi youth ministry blogger i’ve become friends with).
other bloggers who have posted on this:
pete lev (two posts)
jeff b lukens