Is there a problem in Youth Ministry today?
That is a real question that I would love answered! I have seen posts from the gospel coalition on the history of youth ministry, and the need to change to more of a Gospel Centered Youth Ministry. I posted before Christmas asking if, Youth Ministry is dead? I have seen a few youth workers raise questions online in a rant, or other form of post, only to have them apologize and take them down a few days later. What is going on?
I do think there is a problem. Somewhere in the last few years youth pastors have lost their voice and edge. I am grateful for all the leaders of the youth ministry organizations who have led us, and will continue to lead us. These men and woman love Jesus, and love students truly fulfilling the Great Commandment. With that said, I think the youth ministry network leaders are still operating in an old school way. The paradigm has shifted and we as youth workers are different from 10 years ago. We are constantly changing! I do think that the big youth ministry organizations are changing, but just not fast enough. Here are a few things that I would love to see in youth ministry in the next 10 years.
Coaching/Mentoring. I think the biggest way you can influence change is through mentorship. I love what Marko is doing, and I would love to see Adam McLane start a similar coaching network up. There is a myth out there that you need to get a different youth ministry experiences. Bible schools promote youth majors to hop around to “learn” from different leaders. It took me 3 years with an amazing youth pastor before I somewhat figured out youth ministry. It was being constantly discipled and mentored that made me into the leader today. This just a small thing with big payoffs.
Back to the trenches. Full time youth workers are more accessible than ever. We need hubs of networks to share resources and how our ministries are reaching different students. The full time youth worker is the expert because they are doing the ministry. They are finding out what works, and what doesn’t. I would love to see a network like Acts 29 or The Resurgence for youth pastors. I have the privilege of having youth workers stop by this site constantly and leave questions, or comments. I am proud of our community of Youth Workers, we have a great community. Lets get connected and build something!
Open Communication. I do feel like there are tons of disenfranchised Youth Workers out there. And it feels to me like its growing. Most times it feels like the youth worker just wants to have a conversation. Or to ask a question. This past September I took on an intern. He has a blog, and he makes comments/ questions about youth ministry. I love that he is thinking about how to do ministry more effectively. His questions don’t freak me out, or make me anxious. I think we need more space for questions, and for conversations around those questions, so that they don’t end up in a rant on a youth workers blog somewhere. Let’s treat each other with respect, but also disagree with each other in love.
I love youth ministry…and I know you do too! We are all in this together. What problems do you see in Youth Ministry today?