Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Book Report – Reaching a Generation for Christ – part 1

Wow! It has been a long time since I have written a book report. I’m starting a series of reports on the book “Reaching a Generation for Christ” as it is a very long text book. I’m glad that I’m reading through it and I don’t want to just get through it but I really want to systematically glean more from it than an average read. I’m going to read parts of this book, then read other books and magazines, and then read more of this book.

Part 1 – I found two key ideas and one key statement from part 1 “Framework for Youth Ministry” that really stood out to me.

The first key idea came from Steve Patty’s “A developmental framework for doing Youth ministry.” Mr. Patty looks at the development of adolescents and how that effects a youth ministry. I’m very interested in adolescent development and Mr. Patty’s words really hit home for me. He uses James W. Fowler’s stages of growth to help explain this development. Stage 2 & 3 of adolescent development are the most important to me. Stage 2 is all about concrete/tangible events and Stage 3 is all about relational events. This has caused me to rethink how I evaluate my ministry because currently I’m not considering the development of our kids as much as needs to.

The second key idea came from Dave Rahn’s “A Sociological framework for doing youth ministry.” His figures really didn’t help me much but his thoughts of how to use the different social context kids are in was. Mr. Rahn also shared that students are making the interpretations of the environments they are in. They define how they react to what is happening around them which in turn changes the social landscape they are in and this circle keeps going on. I really liked Mr. Rahn’s starter lists for studying my kid’s social landscape. “All social context is relative” was a key thought to me as I often forget how influenced my kids are by those around them and the different social environments they are in.

One last key statement that really stood out to me was from Mark H. Senter III. He said, “Parental contact took place when the relationship between parent and young person was based on trust and respect. This latter contact many times extended to a circle of the adolescent’s friends.” The reason this stood out to me is the group of volunteers that work with my kids are almost all parents of or former parents of middle school kids. They have so much influence on the kids who come, get involved, and actually get the truth of God’s word and it is important to me to keep equipping them.

I know this book will stretch my thought process greatly and I’m looking forward to that. When I’m done I hope to have some really strong ideas that will influence me and my ministry to help the kids, their parents, and my sponsors take spiritual steps forward.

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