the anglican mission in america has a fledgling youth ministry department, headed by a good guy named chris zoephel. they have a nice website, and conduct a cool interview — normally via skype-recorded podcast — on a monthly basis. this past month, the interview was with me, though i blew it in being skype-ready (i didn’t have a mic for my computer), and they had to do it over the phone with a couple people listening and transcribing the whole thing).
anyhow, chris asked interesting questions, and i gave slightly less interesting answers. you can see the whole interview here.
here’s a taste:
zoephel: With the cultural changes we have seen in the past few decades, what are the keys to reaching this generation?
marko: In some ways things haven’t changed at all and in some ways they’ve changed dramatically. What hasn’t changed is that it’s about caring adults who are willing to be uncomfortable enough to go more than half way to be in a relationship with a teenager. It certainly hasn’t changed in the years of the modern youth ministry movement, and probably has never changed since the beginning of time. Clearly a lot of the methods, approaches and cultural realities that are in play have changed a lot. I wasn’t using text messaging to connect with teens back when I started in youth ministry, and no one—I mean no one—saw text messaging replacing email so quickly as a way to connect with kids a few years back. The world of adolescents has changed a lot also. They’re still dealing with the same primary tasks of autonomy, affinity, and kind of breaking away from their parents and figuring out who they are in relationship to the world. But how that plays out in a world that is saturated in speed and stimulation, and a fairly boundary-less world, has shifted quite a bit in the last twenty years.