Thursday, May 03, 2007

Youth Ministry's Goal?
There has been some discussion over at the Youthwork Community board on "What is Christian Youthwork?".

I recently re-discovered a paper by Michael Warren called "Youth ministry in an inconvenient church" (from the great resources at the Princeton Institute for Youth Ministry). In this paper he outlines a vision for youth ministry which is about equipping young people with the skills to live as disciples of Jesus.He says this is inconvenient and at times dangerous and contrasts to ministries which focus as their only aim at being "fun" or "cool".

A slightly edited version of the paper is called The Goal of Youth Ministry .
A couple of quotes:
'The important question about youth ministry is not "Where are the kids?" or "What should we do with them when they show up?" but "What is the nature of our community?" What are the discipleship skills appropriate to those who have moved beyond childhood, and how can a community exhibit those skills in a way that attracts the young and draws them to inspiring mentors in faith?'

'As churches start asking what the gospel means in our own time and in our own neighborhoods, youth ministry will become what it should be: an activity shaped by the gospel, alive to the gifts of the young, that teaches practical ways of living out the faith'.

Definitely worth checking out and putting alongside the writing of Kenda Creasey Dean for an answer to the question of what are we trying to do in church youth ministry.

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