ym 3.0 as shift

korey mininger writes about youth ministry 3.0 as a shift…

A SHIFT: Youth Ministry 3.0

I think there is a Nissan commercial that uses the slogan SHIFT as a marketing tool. I have always thought this was a cool slogan but I never caught on to what it actually meant in regards to persuading me to buy (or want to buy) the product. I say this to point out that this word, “SHIFT”, has been on my mind for much of my last 3 years in full time Youth Ministry. I have long since recognized the need for a shift in the way we do Youth Ministry but have never really been able to wrap my mind around what needed to happen. I am very much a “youth ministry practitioner” as apposed to sitting around thinking about youth ministry. So, while I have thought of the changes that need to be made I have had no way of practically fleshing these out into the real world although I think I have come close at times. I think it is true of EVERYONE that works with youth, including parents, to be constantly wondering if they are actually making a difference in the life of the teens.

NOW, the time has come to, as they say, “face the elephant in the room”. That Elephant is: Teens in our churches are getting eaten alive by their culture and how we do Youth Ministry has not significantly shifted in over the past 20 years.

NOW, I am not saying that:

– We have not done anything new in Youth Ministry

– Youth Ministry is obsolete or not effective.

– We need to throw it all away.

– Or that the church is to blame for the “75-80% of graduating church teens walking away from their faith. (Passing blame on anyone does not solve anything.)

BUT…What I am saying is that:

– We need to ask the hard questions.

– We need to allow God to change our thinking and deconstruct our methods.

– We need to prayerfully put Youth Ministry and teens before God and than

LISTEN, DISCERN and PATIENTLY MOVE FORWARD.

– I am passionate about the lives of teens and it KILLS me to see them

swallowed up into the abyss of culture without a compass for what is right,

true and pure.

JUST ANOTHER BOOK?: “Youth Ministry 3.0”.

I have read many youth ministry books (all of them good) but have grown weary of models, methods and other ideas. As a matter of fact I was recently at a conference where I saw a book, “Youth Ministry 3.0” , and I picked it up only to put it down and say to myself, “I don’t need another book about youth ministry.” That same book sits in front of me on my coffee table. I ordered it after I heard a youth ministry podcast that interviewed the author (http://www.thesource4ym.com/podcasts/ Episode #18). I am in the first chapter and am enjoying it already. It asks the hard questions and it is really a book that I need, and I think many others, need right now. I want to take my blog readers on a journey through this book so I will be writing a few entries about it.

QUOTE FROM YOUTH MINISTRY 3.0:

I will end this entry with this quote that has been, in a weird way, an encouragement to me and points out a problem that I think is evident in the Youth Ministry Profession:

“The difficulty with changing and evolving our methods is that it often takes 2 to 3 years before we’ll know for sure if our shift was a great new direction or a wrong turn. Mutations, morphs, and evolutions involve lots of little changes over time, and sadly most youth workers don’t have the patience for that” – Lukefish (Youth Ministry 3.0, pg 24, Zondervan)

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