so, what does youth ministry actually do?
July 23, 2008
I started out my theological training 6 years ago with the sole intention of being the worlds greatest youth pastor. OK, so theological training has a way of taking ideas like becoming the “greatest”anything out of you, which is a good thing. Theological training also opened up the world for me, and over the years my eyes was opened to know that there is more to ministry than youth, and more to following Jesus than ministry.
I still remained involved with youth camps all through my studies, but since June 2007 I’m back into youth ministry. The challenges has changed since I was at school, or maybe all the years of theology just opened my eyes to a world more complex than I thought, opened my eyes to all the kids who don’t care for what we youth ministers are doing. But OK, I’ve been back for a year, and I’m slowly starting to find my feet again, I think.
I found this quote a few days ago in a book I use frequently when planning camps, well, actually I use it much less nowadays, because I practically know it by heart by now. But I printed this quote in 2005 and pasted it into the front of the book:
I look back over my years in ministry and ask what has actually helped people change and deepen spiritually: (1) youth retreats, (2) short-term mission trips, (3) some small groups (I say some – others were a waste of time), (4) many one-to-one relationships, (5) getting people involved leading something or serving somewhere.
It’s from A New Kind of Christian, p122. Maybe I need to do some checks more ofter, to see how much of my time I spend on these activities, and how much on keeping kids busy.
Must add though, I just got back from an AMAZING conversation with one of the young leaders in our congregation. She is roundabout 15, and we talked theology, I explained the worldview of Biblical writers, the process in which the Bible came into being, how it was canonized, and most importantly how I see Jesus. Great conversation, she is currently reading The Secret Message of Jesus. Remember the post of a few days ago? Well, I think today might have been part of the reaction to it.
A question: What books would you recommend for high school kids? I’ve been realizing lately that most books I read I’m either not comfortable with, or I fear they are too complicated. Blue Like Jazz is a good idea, but what else?