help me think about this.
i’m working on my closing general session talk for the national youth workers conventions (first one is in san diego, next week!). and i’ve decided to talk about youth ministry: past, present and future. i’m hoping this will be an affirmation of how the collective of youth workers have reflected culture in good ways and bad ways as we try to live out our calling with teenagers, as well as a vision-y nudge toward our collective need for change.
i’m trying to find a few words to best describe a preferred future, and would love thoughts from anyone.
i have a handful of variables i’m using to describe where we’ve been, where we are, and where i hope we can go. but i’m having trouble landing on a few important words for the future:
First question: if youth ministry past was “proclamation-driven”, and youth ministry present is “program-driven”, what’s our hopeful ‘driver’ in the future? my first thought was to say “kingdom-driven”. but that’s SO broad, and requires quite a bit of theological unpacking to be meaningful. i am considering “missionally-driven”, which also requires some unpacking (i’m not talking about taking missions trips, but about helping teenagers live into our present calling to be active participants in god’s kingdom work, here and now, with the assumption that that ‘practice’ will form a lifetime of praxisy faith that will sustain them long after they’re in youth group). ooh, maybe “praxis-driven”? ha, look at me, using all P-words. rick warren would be proud.
Second question: if youth ministry past was focused around key themes of EVANGELISM and CORRECTION, and youth ministry present is focused around key themes of DISCIPLESHIP and POSITIVE PEER GROUP, then what would be the key themes of this preferred future? a brainstorm of some of the word-themes i’m considering: COMMUNITY, MISSION, KINGDOM, JOURNEY, CALLING, HOLISTIC, FLUID. i want to be careful not to merely use buzz words, which some of these could easily be.