Tag Archives: joel daniel

a ym3.0 cohort (seismos, parts 5 and 6)

seismos1a group of 17 youth workers gathered recently for a few days together, wrestling with the ideas in youth ministry 3.0. joel daniel has been posting great summaries of their discussions on his blog. i’ve reposted those here (with props and appreciation to joel daniel) in two post (parts 1 and 2, and parts 3 and 4).

there’s also a nifty little video post (still pics, set to music) of the group and their time. i won’t bother embedding it here, but you can click here to watch it.

here’s part 5, an “appreciative inquiry” around the values and practices of youth ministry 2.0:
What are the positives/priorities that we want to retain from YM 2.0?

-the development of Youth Specialties & a variety of other youth ministry specific organizations

-youth pastors (as a recognized position)

-youth missions going out

-a more professional/intentional view of youth ministry

-discipleship emphasis

-more relationally focused

-development of some structure

-more evaluation

-shift from denominational only use of curriculum/etc, to more exchange of ideas

-some veins of Christian music

-learned how to study youth culture

-development of fun/enjoyment as part of youth church experience

-beginnings of mentoring

-engagement & reflection of culture

-engaged the question “why do we believe what we believe?”

A few thoughts & reflections that occurred during this time as well:

Someone noted that youth ministry did well to learn from the education system and a variety of its practices during this time period. At that time, the educational system had the most current understanding of developmentally appropriate teaching 1176922_67297562and integration of various teaching practices. However, we also observed that we feel that the education system overall has become poorer since then, particularly with its emphasis on standardized testing, etc, and that youth ministry, while perhaps still gleaning some good practices from the established educational system, needs to either find a few model to learn from or boldly blaze the way and become the most well-informed sector of society when it comes to connecting to students. Other potential areas to learn from who are reaching & teaching youth effectively are media/entertainment, advertisers, and social networking & other web 2.0 technology. What are best practices we can glean from these?

“The point in church culture at times seems to be more about information more than relationship. For example, the question is almost always asked by parents “what did you learn?” but that’s not necessarily the point.” This basic idea that was brought up got some push back suggesting that there is always learning…but that it doesn’t have to be an upfront or formal presentation. So how do we engage “subversively”, so that they’re learning without realizing it but that it still influences their life?

and, part 6, where the group identifies the winnowed-down list of questions they want to wrestle with:
We broke up into 3 groups, each armed with the list of questions we had initially raised as well as the conversations that we had already had related to the good parts of YM 1.0 & 2.0. Each group was given the task of bringing back two questions that we would discuss, leaving us six questions total to plow through in the time we had left (we were about halfway through our retreat at this point). The six questions we settled on were as follows (some combined/extrapolated/expanded from the original list):

* What is the heart/foundation of the next wave of youth ministry (YM 3.0)?
* How is the transition we’re feeling in youth ministry a reflection of change going on in the rest of the church (if at all)? Does this correlate at all with Newsweek/blog/etc articles currently circulating? Is the need for change positive, negative, or neutral?
* What are the key pieces of youth ministry that should be shared by all, regardless of cultural shifts, denominational beliefs, or personal ministry giftings/preferences? In other words, what are the dogma (what we all agree on should drive everything), doctrine (things that we disagree on, but believe others should agree with us on) & opinion (areas we know are generally personal preference) of youth ministry practice (not theology).
* Is program really a dirty word? What part does planning/organization/structure/etc play in the next wave of youth ministry?
* How does the age bracket shift in adolescence affect what we do? What parts of the cultural definition of adolescence do we buy into and what parts do we push back on? How are we going to help students navigate adolescence and then leave adolescence at the appropriate time apart from culture but in touch with reality?
* How do we keep/make these priorities that we desire in YM 3.0 without “siloing” (separating/disconnecting) ourselves away from the rest of the church?

We only made it through 4 of these questions and so I’ll post thoughts from our discussion on each question and then close with a final post of resources that we shared with each other at our last meeting.

a ym3.0 cohort (seismos, part 3 and 4)

seismosa group of 17 youth workers have been meeting to wrestle with the ideas in youth ministry 3.0 on a 3-day retreat. i posted parts 1 and 2 of their notes (from joel daniel’s blog) here.

here’s part 3, where the group identified the questions they’d like to consider discussing (this looks much like the process we use at our JH pastor’s summit each year):

-is the shift we’re feeling in youth ministry just a reflection of a shift we’re feeling in a larger church? how does this engage with newsweek/blog/etc articles

-how does the age bracket shift in adolescence affect what we do?

-are we pushing into adulthood prematurely or too much?

-as we sense a shift in youth ministry, how do we wisely do this in a church that may or may not be accepting?

-how do we engage the whole church in a holistic picture of ministry?

-what are the things we fear about change?

-how do we bridge sub-cultures? or should we try? is it ok to let students solely identify with their own affinity groups?

-what are best practices for partnering together & supporting various ministries?

-what defines adolescence? who defines adolescence?

-what do we think affinity is?

-how does story affect what we do? what is story?

-what’s 4.0? if we’re always behind the cultural curve as Christians, how can we get ahead of it &/or create culture instead of respond to it?

-what about programming? is there any redemptive piece of it? (endnote #54, pg 72)

-do we balance the stool or do we lean on one? prioritization versus throwing stuff out? what if it’s not a stool (ie, there’s more than 3 defining pieces)?

-what’s the common ground between various generations (1.0, 2.0, 3.0) of youth ministry?

-what are the battles/rumors corollated to youth ministry that we can address as a group? create a Camp Carl Creed

-what things in the moment do we retain as principles, instead of realizing they’re tools?

-how can we be aware of & strategize our approach to reflect the the present cultural changes? what are the markers of cultural change?

-what should be counter-cultural? what can we roll with in culture?

-how do we “lead up”? the things that we’re learning…how do we spread these to the rest of the church body? how do we lower the walls between youth ministry and the rest of the church?

-how does family play into all of this?

-how do we create better transitions? how do we stop losing so many along the way?

and here’s part 4, where they dig specifically into youth ministry 1.0 (using an approach called “appeciative inquiry”, for which they reference this blog post):

“unity is not everyone being in the same room” – too often when we talk about unity in the church, we think that it means we have to create some supra-program that will make everyone feel happy. however, as we grapple with affinity being a defining part of adolescent development and youth culture, how do we balance out intentionally reaching into and even creating sub-groupings of students where they feel free to be open and honest. this specific quote was made in the context (i think…my memory is rubbish) of being a reminder that just because we come up with a program that brings everyone into the same physical location, that doesn’t mean unity was actually achieved (anyone remember more clearly why this was said…i have contradicting thoughts in my own head…but they’re all interesting : )

“2.0 was too often emulation for the sake of population.” – numerical growth was seen as a priority by many in YM 2.0. to achieve this growth, everyone looked to see what the successful (large) youth ministries were doing and tried to do the same (if so & so has a disco-ball & they doubled in size, we should get a disco-ball, too!). the problem with this was that it often didn’t account for the change in culture from the emulated ministry to the emulating ministry. our tools have to be contextualized. this doesn’t mean that we don’t study/learn/converse with others to find out what they do that’s effective (which may or may not have to do with #’s), but we always run the ideas through the sieve of where we’re actually ministering.

Kingdom Stories – reflecting on God’s ongoing narrative

“the Kingdom Story captures all 3 questions of adolescence: Who am I, How am I unique, Where do I belong, So how do speak these things effectively?” – we spent a lot of time talking about the story of the Kingdom of God during our three days and how it is such a healthy and helpful framing for youth ministry.

during the second part of our initial conversation, we did an appreciative inquiry of Youth Ministry 1.0. if you’re not familiar with appreciative inquiry, check out Bob Robinson’s summary of it. here’s the outline of best practices we identified in YM 1.0:

What are the positives/priorities that we want to retain from YM 1.0?

-YM 1.0 reflected its culture (Great Awakening, growth of country, churches role)

-passion for evangelism

-creation of missionaries to youth culture

-established boundaries for students

-solid organizations such as FCA, YFC, Young Life

-saw need, stepped out…willing to us an out of the box approach


-use of “para-churches” that are, at times, more able to be true to the mission & passion b/c they don’t have some of the politics of “churches”

-approached through a community mindset instead of through an individualistic church mentality