a 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