very interesting post over on beliefnet about youth ministry (including three re-focusing suggestions, and three suggestions for middle-age youth ministry leaders). i find that thinking from another tradition than my own brings a fresh perspective that isn’t entangled in the mesh of my worldview. this post has an orthodox youth worker reflecting on comments by a catholic priest, about youth ministry. good stuff.
Teach the apostolic faith full on…no compromises on basic doctrine or dogma. This generation of college students can smell an intellectual/spiritual weasel a hundred miles away. They would rather hear the bald-faced Truth and struggle with it than listen to a priest/minister try to sugar-coat a difficult teaching in the vain search for popularity or “hipness.”
that’s just to wet your whistle. go read the rest of the post.
(ht to bob c, via email)
4 thoughts on “re-focusing youth ministry”
very interesting, thanks for posting. question: at what age are we considered middle age youth ministers? 70ish?
Interesting comment about college students. There’s a church in Dallas where the pastor (Matt Chandler) preaches the “bald-faced Truth,” tells people to stop coming if they just want to sit there on Sunday mornings and not actually be involved in the church body, and makes a lot of remarks about how Christiandom in the Bible Belt has abandoned true Christianity. Despite all that, the church has seen an exponential amount of growth, especially of college age kids and young adults.
great article Mark. i went on to read many of the replys and came across this one that i agree with totally…well the later part as i am not a minister of the Catholic church
I don’t know if I’m repeating what someone else suggests, but I have a personal peeve about ministering to under-21’s. Do not, ever, call the young people “The future of the church”. I can’t think of anything more useless. I haven’t done a dissertation on this, but I wonder if any church father ever used such a term about anyone or anything. No one who is a baptized communicant is the “future” of anything, whether a baby (Orthodox give communion to every baptized person) or a college senior.
Every layman is the *present* of the Church, and that’s all the Church has ever had or ever will have. Calling someone a “future” Christian is telling them they somehow aren’t the Church now. It’s telling them the will matter someday, and it never comes. It keeps them infantile. It likely is responsible for alot of them leaving.
i too share this idea that we have been pushing on our 25 and unders that ‘one day’. and how does that teach them a true and proper view of church work currently…i think this idea has been perpetuated through out western history as i know several times in ministry where i have heard the comment ‘one day i’ll do this or that’ as if it will only be when that time comes will it be their time…the church is a living breathing body and we need to let the youth breath into us as well as us into them
oh and any thoughts from any one how to slyly give this to my session of elders who are of the protestant faith…not sure how they would respond to a Catholic with such good ideas on youth ministry but they are very relevant for all ministers