i love the world of weblogs, with that said, there are some things about it that i truly can’t stand. but also, there are the things i do love and embrace about it, and truly feel that there has been a shift in the ability of people to dialog about things that never really existed before.
and that, friends, brings me to my topic today: youth ministry and the next 50 years.
in my daily blog reading (i love the opening bookmarks in tab ability in firefox!) i was reading marko’s comments about the article in CT today about the next fifty years of ministry, specifically youth ministry. if i were the one assigned to the article, i would have taken the same approach as the writer and gone with the same interviews and probably said the same things. but, i would have also wanted to know what joe youth worker down the street thought. or even bob the head/senior pastor who got his start in professional ministry as a youth pastor/worker. to some extent, those view points are probably even more fascinating than the ones from those who are the movers and shakers of youth ministry, you know the ones we all name drop at some point in our career.
but looking beyond all that, there is some serious things happening in ministry today. having spent the last year of my life working as a youth worker (i am still in awe that i get paid cash money to hang out with teenagers) God has introduced me to new ways of approaching ministry and all that’s involved in that. i would love to say that when i walk away from this ministry to the next one God calls me to, i will be able to hold my head up high and say that it was great. but that wouldn’t be the truth. i work for a church that is stuck in the early nineties model of youth ministry: program, program, program… and we need your money to do that, because that will assure that our kids are ok! well guess what folks, ok is not good enough. if we are not in the business of kingdom expansion, then what’s the point?
i truly believe that the next fifty years of youth ministry will see a radical shift. this will take youth ministry, and all ministry for that matter, into new and unexplored realms that can truly only be guided by God. i think that we will see a shift to not just minister to youth, but also to their families as a whole unit. i think that we will see kids hurting beyond our wildest imaginations and will result in a turning to seek something bigger than what they are being hurt by which can truly only be God. i think that we, as professionals, will have the biggest struggles in our lives due to church politics getting in the way of working for the Kingdom.
with all that said, and so much more to say, the next fifty years of youth ministry will only be the greatest, wildest adventure that anyone can fathom. the question is not what will it look like, but are you ready for the adventure? and if you are, are you willing and ready to let God let you do His work?
i do suffer from one problem though: many questions, no solutions… at least not yet!