I just finished this quick read of Youth Ministry 3.0 and really enjoyed it. It was a book that really encouraged me for these two reasons
1. It affirmed some of the thoughts i have had about ministry the last 2 years. I really do see Mark O’s trends between Affinity, Autonomy & Identity in the past. I never grew up in church or youth group so i see the ‘past’ with a different set of eyes. I also see the future with a different set of eyes and most ‘traditional’ ways of youth ministry that do exist kinda rub me a wrong way. Not in a way of wanting to see students know Jesus but more in a ‘is that the best mindset’ for youth ministry
2. I enjoyed the detailed historical look, trends that influenced those youth ministry decisions and hearing what that did for youth ministry today. I love seeing how the past affects the present.
The book did really open my eyes to a very real concept for youth pastors. We MUST continue to think deeply, clearly and passionately about youth ministry or we may repeat the past in a negative way.
One disagreement, ok not really a disagreement but something i am trying to wrestle with on my own that the book also brought up, is that i believe youth culture is very much more today than ever before a sociological experience. I believe in Mark’s statements that our ‘youth groups’ are really going to be units of students that in their own way have identity, affinity & autonomy. But my concern is how does the ‘average’ youth ministry in the USA allow the sociological difference to exist with fragmenting the overall ‘group’. The challenge will be for youth pastors to build leaders to be able to ‘sit on the stairwell of youth culture’ and be a significant voice for that group of students. I think a major part of that voice needs to be showing how Jesus’ heart is for all people to be part of the same body.