if a major newspaper, like the washington post, is going to print an article on the current state of youth ministry and youth workers in the u.s., it could get a lot worse than this. not a bad article. not groundbreaking, but not totally missing the point either.
worth the read.
(ht to several people who sent me this link)
6 thoughts on “washington post article on youth ministry”
a couple thoughts…
1. It’s really nice to see the Washington Post write about youth ministry.
2. It’s interesting that Rick Lawrence is quoting the now infamous, “80% before their 18” stat, when it’s long been considered something of a mythical study.
3. I like the articles emphasis on understanding the changing complexities of leading a youth ministry, but I don’t like that it affirms the idea that all of these complexities are now lumped into the job description of the youth pastor. To place all this on one person, namely a youth pastor, is to set them up for failure. No one person can do this.
To me this is theological in nature. While many of us give lip-service to abandoning a “CEO model” for pastoral ministry, we actually can’t imagine what a pastor would do if they didn’t do all this stuff.
In other words, a crux of the reshaping of the youth pastor role demands an imagination beyond, multitasking, administrator, relational, super hero all in one package.
This will only happen when we structurally reshape our ministries to show what that we as churches actually value kids and own their ministry ourselves.
ok… now I’m rambling….
But I still can’t believe the Rick Lawrence quote.
Yeah, I can’t believe it either … at budget time, I always tell my church that it’s 90-95% of people are saved by the time they are 18 …
Not a bad article for The Washington Post. I mean, it’s The Post… but at least it’s not The Washington Times…
Actually, in all seriousness, I did like that it got into some of the stereotypes and how it’s changed in America in recent decades – how the standards are getting better and better and the increased level of training out there for youth workers. It’s nice to see that getting high lighted instead of the negative stuff that usually grabs the spotlight.
Not that we all need to run to the WP for validation, but it is nice to see some positive perspectives on youth ministry from this kind of source.
encouraging to hear people ‘outside’ of the ministry bubble talking about ministry to young people.
and it’s ok, marko. we all know that the journal of student ministries is really “the industry’s must-read glossy.”