Thursday, July 10, 2003

Here is the outline

1. Impact
2. Parents Take Charge
3.Purpose of it.
4. Equipping. Doing it for the Long Haul.
5. Experiment of YM and a History.
6. A Different Light.

OK. Here goes. I would say Mike - the separation of youth and thinking
that we the youthworker are here to save the day. After all we might have
the students 8 or so years but after that what? Also who makes the bigger
impact? Youthworkers or parents? I think this is what I see as lacking; the
parental influence and following up on that; so often we do "youth groups"
and outings; retreats and so on and try to make a spiritual impact; which
sometimes we do ...but other times we don't.

Here's an idea why not tap into the people they see and interact
with each day to help with their spiritual journey? Hmmm ...might be working
us out of a job right? Well; shouldn't we be equipping and more of Family
Pastors than youth anyways? I think we miss the boat. Sure there are times
teens need to be away from their parents ....but how often do they actually
talk to their parents? Have a good relationship with them? And even in the
messy divorce and brokeness of families we still need to reach out. You
asked what is missing. I see the parent factor as missing. Sure we might
have a quarterly if that ..parent meeting or a banquet or even send out a
parent letter once a month. But how about parents for youth sponsors? Some
would say won't work will hurt my students. How about parents taking some
direction in their child's spiritual growth rather than rely on a youth
pastor? or how about seeing youth ministry instead of a failure; a
profession or even a babysitting servcice as not youth ministry at all but
family ministry.

Now, here is where the rubber mets the road. You are asking sounds
nice Gman, but in all practicality won't work. I ask why? Have you done it?
Tried it? I mean how often is youth ministry and youth pastor mentioned in
the Bible? (Think hard) but what about in the Bible parents training and
mentoring and disciplining their children? (Ah) So is this something new?
No. I believe some woudl say well this model has already been written about
in Family Based Youth Ministry. And you are right. In reading the book
Spiritual Mentoring of Teens A Parents' Guide. I see this as vital. How are
we helping parents to spirituslly mentor their teens? How are we building
their child's faith through the adolescent years? So often we do it
ourselves as youthworkers. Or use others or some program to do it. To which
I respond to these questions. What is the purpose? Secondly; who has the
most influence over a teen and the most time to spend with them? Fact is
that we do not live nor are the ultimate authority in the teen's life. Why
not tap into the authority and give some guidance. So often I think we are
feeding the horse and not letting the rider of the horse take control. (I
know not the best analogy comparing your students to horses).

What do I see lacking? Well, I see alot of intentions to youth
ministry and a lot of good goals and thinking and to say "That's nice." What
I'd like to see is more family involvement. We always ask and after high
school? Then what? How do we follow up disciple and so forth? What if we
didn't have to ask that? What if we had trained parents for the training of
their teens and when they are in college and start families of their own;
they'll remember their faith entrusted to them by their own parents. Heck, I
don't have to be involved in the process at all. Let God do the work.

Youth Ministry an experiment? Yeah bet it is and was. I mean where
else do you do the newest gimmick; went from prayer groups to parachurch
organizations to youth rallies to concerts to hiring a full time young youth
worker to being professional to publishing companies to all the latest
trends and clones of trying to be like the latest mega parachurch or mega
church. To where we gather in a Holy Hupla at the latest Teen Convention and
yet sent back to reality after the go happy feelings are gone. Has it
failed? I really don't know. Has it had its successes and failures? Sure.
Can it be evaluated and changed and remodeled and rethought? Sure. Am i
going to get fired or be fired? Sure. Already been there bought the T-shirt.

So in buying the T-shirt. Let me conclude by saying maybe we need to
relook re-evaluate and re-think why youth ministry? As Samuel Johnson said
"To do nothing is in every man's power." I'd like to think I'm doing
something about it. Learning along the way through my own journey and
hopefully seeing youth ministry in a different light than it once was.

So what do you think? Am I off my rocker or am I not far off? In Rich
Grassel's book "Help I'm a Small Church Youth Worker! Achieving Big Time
Success in a Non-Mega Ministry" he states that 85 to 90% of our church are
fewer than 150 participants. pg. 9. If that is true then Malachi 4:6"He
will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the
children to their fathers." can work within that context. I guess it comes
down to how one defines success and failure.

Mechanicsville, VA
"The reason God made woman last was that he didn't want any advice while
creating man"

Ok G, what aspects that are intrinsic to all youth ministries do you
believed need to be changed, and why?

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