Last November I had the privilege to hangout and meet Matt Wilkinson who wrote the book called,YOUTH MINISTRY: NOW AND NOT YET: Uncovering next steps for how Church Leaders, Youth Workers and Parents can Better Engage the Next Generation in a Transforming Faith Journey. Matt Wilkinson is passionate about youth ministry, and passionate about the church.
In the intro of the book Matt Wilkinson states the situation that youth workers in Canada and else where are facing. He states, ” “interestingly, for point youth workers who also shared that they see youth ministry as a life-long vocation and predict staying their current role for a least the next five years, almost half are dissatisfied with the ministry they are leading.” We are committed to youth ministry, but most of us are dissatisfied. This is an alarming situation. Most of the stats that freaked me out most were the ones dealing with either the spiritual life of the youth worker, or the satisfaction of a youth worker. It almost seems that we are called for the long haul, but also called to suffer in order to work with teenagers.
Matt Wilkinson complies data from churches in canada to address the state of youth ministry today. I love this book, and all the graphs that were put into in. It is an easy read, and an essential read for anyone in youth ministry today. All the stats are for Canada, but for my friends in the U.S.A this is where your churches are heading (into a post christian culture).
“interestingly, for point youth workers who also shared that they see youth ministry as a life-long vocation and predict staying their current role for a least the next five years, almost half are dissatisfied with the ministry they are leading.”
“Ensuring the youth worker has time to effectively and properly care for their personal and family needs (only 12% of youth workers fee very satisfied with this area of support)”
“20% of youth workers lack a philosophy and structure for youth ministry, 75% of youth ministries are not required to have a strategic plan for the year, 47% have not been given clear goals or objectives for their role, 96% of point youth workers do not strongly agree with the statement that “they have a defined leadership plan for their own leadership development”
” It is found that 71% of churches encourage their point youth worker to use social networking to promote the youth ministry and 91% agree that being on social networking sites are vital for building relationships and keeping up with students. Only 9% of churches have in a youth workers’ job description the importance of engaging with the youth through online tools and just 20% of churches offer a data plan to their youth workers to ensure they can afford to text message an interact online with youth”
“90% of point youth workers shared they are expected to do events; while only 50% share they are expected to do small groups”
The take away from this book is that our youth ministries need to be on mission together with the Church, not just being apart of it. The youth ministry is a vital part of the Body of Christ. Today more than ever we are fragmented. The Church needs to be the place where we are unified.
Youth ministry has come a long way, but it has a long way to go. That means that we need to work together in order to change youth ministry. Matt Wilkinson has written a fantastic book for our times. We need this book now more than ever. Check out his book this summer called, YOUTH MINISTRY: NOW AND NOT YET: Uncovering next steps for how Church Leaders, Youth Workers and Parents can Better Engage the Next Generation in a Transforming Faith Journey.
You can also visit his website called: http://www.nowandnotyet.ca/