Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Professional Youth Ministry?
I've posted before about the question of training for youth ministry here in the UK. We've also explored the youth ministry/youthwork/mission type stuff (e.g. here). These are clearly still "live" issues, especially when the expectations of the local church are mismatched with the training and expectations of the workers they employ.
To that end I appreciated Ali's contribution to the discussion in this month's Youthwork Magazine.
He outlines some of the tensions around being "professional" and yet being Christ-centred and discipleship focused (of course the 2 need not be incompatable). I also agree that much of this lies in the area of training. I'm sure I've said it here before but I'm drawn to a model used elsewhere (that a Canadian Baptist drew my attention to) of training all "Ministers" in 2 years of theology and relevant issues and then a year specialising. I think that would give us the most helpful combination of foundations (ideally with adequate emphasis on spiritual formation) and the chance for specialism (the PGCE approach I've seen mentioned on the Youthwork Forum).
Whatever the case I think the need to be Christ-centred is the distinctive agenda of Christian youth ministry. Young people do need empowering but they also need the transformation of the Spirit.

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