Tag Archives: youth minsitry

nice ym3.0 review

thanks to “DaYouthGuy” (jay phillippi) for this review of youth ministry 3.0:

OVERALL – There was a great deal of excitement when the author (best known in YM circles simply as Marko) starting talking about this book idea. When it finally arrived the first reaction from many of us was “Is this all there is?” The expectation was that this would be a much more monumental volume. In the end I think Marko got it right. This book will challenge most of the assumptions we were raised in and trained to believe about what youth ministry should look like. He takes us to some very unnerving country because it is such a change from that which has gone before. It scares the hell out of my brain but in my heart I feel a definite affinity. But then when you read the book you’ll know why, lol! I think this will be a multi-read kind of book. I need to go back over some parts and look at them in a little more depth but it’s well worth the time.

For transparency’s sake I will note that Marko thanks me, twice, in this book. Once, among many other names, in the foreword and the other, among many other names, in the footnotes. I can honestly say that while I remember making some comments in response to his questions online (along with many others) I have NO memory of what I might have said. If it was of ANY help to him in his process I’m very happy. And hey, it’s always kinda cool to see your name in print! Took me totally by surprise.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? The Manifesto is a response to the growing thinking in youth ministry that “something isn’t working”. Marko walks us through the history of youth ministry (in thumbnail sketch form, the book IS only 155 pages long!)to establish how we got where we are. It’s not intended to be a definitive history rather just enough of a background so we can prepare for the most important bit. And that takes us into a future where youth ministry is going to look very different. This is NOT a program book, it’s NOT a instruction manual. It is an examination of the underlying assumptions we have and the ones we may need for the next step. He clearly works his way through each of his points. Agree or disagree Marko gives you plenty to think about.

RESERVATIONS I’m not quite sure how to introduce this book to most congregational ministries. Sadly I’m not sure that most of them have ever really considered WHY they do what they do. They just do it. Places like that will find themselves very challenged by this book. They NEED to read it but may find the ideas so radical that they just shut down. Talk about being too good for your own good.

Marko also tripped one of my pet peeves. He uses some statistics early on about puberty and then doesn’t note where they came from! Granting, as he notes later, that this is NOT a dissertation or formal paper. It still irks me when we toss out information like this without substantiation. It’s like the “Youth workers burn out in 18 months” mythology which was repeated ad nauseum even by me without ever knowing what we were talking about. He gets better as he goes along. But guaranteed as soon as I use the stat (which I have seen elsewhere. It strikes me that it’s from research done by the Smithsonian but I’m not sure) someone is going to ask. I can’t just say that “Marko said it”.

RECOMMENDATION Yes, this book may irritate you. Yes, it may anger you by challenging some fairly dearly held assumptions. Yes, it may even frighten you because you don’t see where your place in this new paradigm may be. Read it any way. Better yet, get a group of youth ministry people to read it together. Gather over your favorite beverages and food and take Marko apart line by line, thought by thought. I’d be willing to bet nothing would make him happier. And in the process, even if you reject everything he proposes, you’ll have a better, stronger, more focused youth ministry. In the end I think that’s probably the idea. So read this book. Even if it’s the only YM book you read this year.

links to check out

my friend bob carlton sends me lots of really helpful links to check out on the ‘net. i put most of them into a temporary folder until i have a chance to catch up on them. these links are all from a wad i just got caught up on. really interesting stuff for youth workers (and parents, in some cases):

— study shows that teenagers (at least in the UK, where the study was done) spend an average of 31 hours a week online (and, an average of 2 of those hours are spent looking at porn).

The Idea Camp: a free hybrid conference for idea makers (Feb 27-28, 2009 in Irvine, CA)

The Idea Camp is a FREE, open source hybrid conference designed to help people move from the realm of ideas to implementation.
We are gathering some of the most innovative and creative leaders from around the country (this means YOU!) to share ideas, intentionally network, and move collaboratively into idea-making. Whether your passion is church leadership, non-profit work, social entrepreneurialism, technology, media, creativity, culture making, church planting, spiritual formation, compassionate justice, etc., this is the conference for YOU.

Spirituality, Not Religion, Makes Kids Happy (on livescience.com)

The link between spirituality and happiness is pretty well-established for teens and adults. More spirituality brings more happiness. Now a study has reached into the younger set, finding the same link in “tweens” and in kids in middle childhood.
Specifically, the study shows that children who feel that their lives have meaning and value and who develop deep, quality relationships — both measures of spirituality, the researchers claim — are happier.
Personal aspects of spirituality (meaning and value in one’s own life) and communal aspects (quality and depth of inter-personal relationships) were both strong predictors of children’s happiness, said study leader Mark Holder from the University of British Columbia in Canada and his colleagues Ben Coleman and Judi Wallace.
However, religious practices were found to have little effect on children’s happiness, Holder said.

Teens send 10,000 text messages per year, study finds (this study is also from the UK, where — i’ve observed — the texting craze amongst teenagers happened earlier than it did for american teens). the article is about more than just texting, btw.

The average teenager sends almost 10,000 text messages per year, and is so worried about missing an important call that they leave their mobile phone switched on overnight, according to the latest survey into the digital habits of young people.

Youth No Longer Defined by Age; Consumers Stay ‘Younger’ Longer

The traditional demographic definition of “youth” is no longer applicable in today’s society, and marketers should target consumers based upon their engagement and participation in youth culture rather than by chronological age, according to the “Golden Age of Youth” study from Viacom Brand Solutions International (VBSI), writes MarketingCharts.
As people worldwide delay the onset of adult responsibilities and stay emotionally and physically younger for longer, it is becoming more acceptable for older people to participate in youthful pursuits. To support this trend, marketers should routinely consider the often-overlooked 25-34 age group a part of the youth market, VBSI said.
“Contemporary youth should now be defined as ‘the absence of functional and/or emotional maturity,’ reflecting the fact that accepting traditional responsibilities such as mortgages, children and developing a strong sense of self-identity/perspective is occurring later and later in life,” the study said.