another great “mixed” review of ym3.0

i continue to dig the “i loved it, but it frustrated me” reviews coming out for youth ministry 3.0.

this one is from chris szulwach, who i met in passing at the pittsburgh nywc, on his “coffee with chris” blog:

My initial reaction after reading Youth Ministry 3.0: “Oh crap!”

Yes, that’s the truth because Marko (Mark Oestreicher, President of Youth Specialties) crystallized a general unrest that I had been feeling with my youth ministry over the past couple years.

Mark takes some time before getting into the guts of youth ministry 3.0 because it is important for us to get a broader understanding of where youth ministry has come from, where it has been, and where we stand today. It is crucial for youth workers to understand where youth culture and the culture in general stand today before venturing into the deep waters of attempting a complete revolution or reformation of youth ministry.

In the chapters on youth ministry 1.0 & 2.0 Mark attemps a fair and accurate portrayal of what was driving these ministries, what was good about them, and where they were lacking. As a person that has spent a large ammount of time in both a para-church ministry (former Young Life staff) and in the church I could completely connect with the descriptions of both the 1.0 and 2.0 models that Mark lays out.

Although I am not quite sure if I fully agree with all that Mark brings up in the chapter on youth ministry 3.0 & the chapter on getting to that goal of 3.0, I do have to say that there is something very attractive and freeing about this model of paradigm for youth ministry. My struggle with the model that Mark sets up is that it is ultra dependant on quality adults. Now, that in itself is not a negative, please don’t read it that way. My struggle with the model is in the decimal points, the space between youth ministry 2.0 & 3.0.

When a church is living in the youth ministry 2.0 land and the leadership of the youth ministry is consistantly being wooed toward 3.0, how does the youth ministry team find the number of Jesus-loving, teenager-caring adults that it needs to make this thing work?

If you have felt the uneasiness that comes with the feeling that your church’s youth ministry just isn’t cutting it, that there is something that is broken, or if you just want to get an overview of where youth ministry has been and where it is going, you need to get this book! Youth Ministry 3.0 should be required reading for every person that is responsible for a youth ministry. Not everyone will be called to make a jump to 3.0 right away but you do need to read this so you know about the groundswell that is coming.

6 thoughts on “another great “mixed” review of ym3.0”

  1. ordered my copy on Monday from YS with some new curriculum. Can’t wait to get it and take a day and interact with it and join the discussion!

  2. i havent read the book yet (looking forward to getting at nashville next week) but the adult leader concerns have already been on my mind.

    just last night at a meeting i had someone on my committee get upset over a couple bucks spent on an essential part of ministry in my book. i walked out after the meeting wondering if reaching 3.0 is even imaginable if i’m have people struggling to even reach 2.0.

  3. Searching for Quality Adults is always a matter of importance. In fact, in my opinion, my job is to put myself out of a job. Now the chances of this happening are slim. But really, youth ministry should start with Quality Christians parents. The parent should be the ultimate youth pastor to their child, bringing them up in the ways of the Bible. But even in Christian Church family homes this doesn’t happen. They go to church and throw them to the Youth Pastor and sometimes even get angry at the Youth Pastor when their child isn’t living a spiritually mature life.

    The most important place for youth ministry is from the parents at home. We need to educate parents on this.

  4. Kevin K – Sure parents are of great importance but as you said, not all parents are doing their job. We also have to recognize that there is something that is really healthy about teenagers pulling & pushing their way away from their parents because they are becoming individuals. This is why it is vital for youth workers to be there for teens through this process.

  5. I haven’t read the book yet (it’s ordered) so forgive me if I’m restating something that’s already there. The idea that, “The message is the same, just the methods change” needs to have some serious deconstruction.

    The medium IS the message. That’s why you need quality adults. Christian Smith is right on in his book “Soul Searching” when he says, “They will become what you are.”

    Ultimately we are not about entertaining youth long enough so that we can INform youth about Christianity, we are about forming them into Christians. That is best done the way Jesus did it… by setting the example we are to follow.

    I would in a heartbeat slash my youth budget in half or more if in return I could have the top ten spiritually mature people within my congregation solely devoted to incarnational youth ministry. Wow, that would be so cool.

  6. this is why i love ys and love the convention… people who love kids. people who speak my language. people who get it! you guys are awesome.

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