Friday, September 16, 2005

The temporary nature of youth ministry
Ok so the title is obvious - youth ministry is about a particular developmental stage.
But my feeling is that youth ministry as a separate "thing" is temporary.
Mark Riddle writes:
"Almost every week I hear of another youth pastor declaring the need to kill life-stage ministries in our churches. (I don't have time or space to dive into this, but our systematic separation of teens from the rest of the church is creating enormous problems involving perspective and warped theology in our teens as they grow.) This change is coming. It's a fact, and its implications for ministry with teens and families are legion" (full article here)

It seems to me that youth ministry as we know it began at a particular time for a particular culture. At the moment I believe in it - it will/must help the shape the church especially in the West in the transitions that are happening, and creatively engage those outside.
But what about 100 or 200 years time? Perhaps when whatever is emerging has emerged, church and culture will be in a different place. I think the ideal would be to not have paid youth pastors, but that it once again becomes an integrated part of the whole Body of Christ. Perhaps the only Christian youth workers will be doing cutting edge outreach, with their churches, or planting churches.
Or am I missing something?

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