Conversations on the Rebirth of Youth Ministry
After reading Reinventing Youth Ministry by Wayne Rice, I realized one thing: What we “expert” youth pastors are trying to do differently really isn’t all that different or innovative. Furthermore, we don’t need to do things differently or “change” – at least not from the ways “effective” ministry has been done.
I stumbled upon this blog post by a new favorite fellow blogger Paul Martin: http://beingministry.com/2011/01/03/conversations-on-the-rebirth-of-youth-ministry/
I love what he writes – well, most of it (and honestly, I loved 99% of this and I love the rest of his blog!! So this is just a healthy conversation).
I don’t necessarily believe youth ministries need to re-invent the wheel and take divergent paths.
Here’s my take: There will NOT be one type of youth ministry (contemplative, emerging, etc.) in the future. That part I agree with. But youth leaders do not need to start inventing all kinds of divergent paths.
It’s simple. We need to do what effective youth ministries have always done. Go big in attraction and get small in relationship, all the while pointing to Jesus.
But we’ve always done it that way, one might say. So obviously we need to re-create how we do things because our current model is not working.
Have we always done it that way? Or have we attempted to do it that way (go big and get small) in an incredibly poor manner?
I’ve been to plenty of churches that say, “We tried to do contemporary worship.” Well, effective contemporary worship isn’t throwing two acoustic guitar players who just started playing and one 11-year old drummer.
Same with effective youth ministry. Have you really tried to build an attractive, energetic youth worship experience? Have you really attempted to train up leaders to get relational with students?
My guess is we are turning to other “divergent paths” because we aren’t effective at leading in these two categories. Don’t re-birth anything. Just get back to the basics.
Center on Jesus. Illuminate him in every way, shape, and form.
Then, go big and get small, and do it exceptionally.
Stay simple and embrace this paradox.
What do you think the “rebirth” of Youth Ministry should look like if anything?