Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Top 10 Urban Legends in Youth Ministry

You know there are urban legends in Christianity such as O'Hare and the FCC or the Touched by An Angel or even the Health and Wealth Gospel.

Here are some Urban Legends in Youth Ministry and in Church in general that I've come across.

10. The tenure of a youth worker is 18mths. This one has been making the rounds for some time. I wonder who this youth worker is and how many churches he is currently on.

9. Close relationships are the goal of ministry. (They aren't - they are a means, but not the end) (Thanks to Group Magazine for debunking this one. Group magazine Sept/ Oct 2006 Don't buy the lies article)

8. The 4% Warning. Love this one. Cites that "The percentage of young people who are Bible believing Christians is steadily decreasing, and right now has dropped to a rock bottom 4%" I've seen alot of this in different publications in Youth Ministry organizations - almost to scare you to have your kids to come to THEIR production.

7. The usage of the word Christian as an adjective. "Christian" music, TV, radio, magazines, books, bookstores, etc. I guess people aren't Christians just things.

6. There is absolute truth. Reality is there isn't. If you are saying there is absolute truth then you leave room with the qualifier of "absolute" for there to be relative truth as well. Why don't just state it as truth. If it is true than it is true today, yesterday and tomorrow. All Truth is God's truth therefore no need to add a quantifier to the word. What is the difference between God's Word being true and God's Word being absolutely true?! There isn't one other than giving rooom to question it and a realm of possibility it might not be.

5. There is a such thing as the perfect model of youth ministry. Reality there isn't. With all the trends, PDYM, 180, Family-based, student-led, no led ... it all comes down to are you loving God and loving those students? You can learn from different models but quit trying to duplicate. You don't have to be the next MEGA youth pastor or whoever to make an impact in the kingdom.

4. Worship equates to Evangelism. Alot of people have bought into the fact that worship means church growth. This Article by Sally Morgenthaler
has changed my own perspective on that. If we only have a kicking worship service then students will come etc. Almost sounds like the Campus Life and YL clubs of old ... if only we had the popular kids come or the coolest kids or games and then we'd have a Big group.

3. More programs means better church and busier and more people. Sometimes LESS is more. Busy-ness only helps further the unbalanced lifestyles of youthworkers and students. We complain because the school competes with our programs on Wednesday, Sunday, and let's not forget our retreats, leadership meetings and of course practices ... If the parents and students can't make it to church 24/7 then they aren't committed to Jesus, right?! Wrong. I think sometimes the best thing we can do is look at what is best for our ministry and not compete but support the community we live in.

2. The "Guru" and speakers we hear at the youth ministry conventions have it all figured out. Truth is - they don't. Most are like us, in the trenches - learning things the hard way. One of the best things I enjoyed hearing was how one Guru messed up and how only by God's grace was He still in Ministry. So often when I hear those stories - it points all to God and not to one's own ego or pride.

1. It is all about you. Youth Ministry can and is being done without you. If you want your Ego puffed up or to increase - GET OUT! Criticism is almost always done -whether you hear from parents, students, leadership etc. It isn't about you but about God working through you, students, and others. If we had more youth ministries just focusing on what God can do ... wow!


Joshua Griffin said...

interesting post - some good thoughts! JG

Shane Vander Hart said...


Regarding #6 it is too bad that we feel like we need a qualifier for truth. You are right, but I can see why it is said when we hear the infamous phrase... "well, that may be true for you, but it isn't true for me."

Regarding #10 - what do you find? I would say the average that I have seen is about three years in my area anyway. The town I ministered at before the average was longer than that.

Mykel said...

Been a long time. Recently rediscovered these old blogs. Glad to see you're still plugging away!

Gerrard Fess said...

Good to hear from you mykel

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