Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Future Of Junior High Ministry

I read a number of blogs and web sites of other jr hi youth ministries (there isn't that many) and get ideas and thoughts for me to chew on and think about. This question has come up a few times and I wanted to place some comments others have made about it and my small thought I have about it as well.

First from Kurt Johnston jr hi guy at Saddle Back - I think the big program/outreach/lights, camera, action approach to ministry is due for a comeback (not so much because I think it works but, because like everything else, youth ministry tends to run in cycles) and I think we've learned the importance of small groups and won't trade the small for the big, but might come up with a good blend of the two.

From Mark Yoconelli - arthor of "Contemplative Youth Ministry" - I see two main trends that will continue. In one trend youth ministry will become more diverse and organic. It will involve more adults, less focused on a youth minister. It will be more creative with more experiments in music, prayer, rituals and the arts. It will be based more in experiencing life with kids and less about transferring information. There will be less of a division between youth and adults—both age groups will be fed and nourished through the ministry. Youth ministry will be a way of life, practiced intergenerationally.

In the second trend youth ministry will continue to become more and more transparent to the market culture. This year there are Christian rock concerts, revivals and festivals sponsored by secular corporations. This will continue. The difference between Christian and corporate will diminish. Youth groups will become more and more welcoming to the market/TV culture—with hip Christian bands, cool youth coffee houses, Christian celebrity magazines, and lots of Christian “stuff.” Youth ministry will be more and more about having the right stuff to attract kids.

My small thought on this is it's all about relationship. "All ministry happens in the context of relationships" - Ray Barrett our former Sr Pastor who went to be with our Lord almost 3 years ago. Everything we do should be on developing relationships. Ever message, event, activity, talk, interaction etc. should be focused on developing relationships. If we can do this and stay constant with it the jr hi ministry of the future will be incredible.

1 comment:

Gina said...

I appreciate your insight and sharings. Lots to reflect on, pray over. "For such a time as this" goes the song... we need Youth Ministry!!

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