Tuesday, February 28, 2006

CONNECT 2006- Youth Ministry Conference, Milwaukee, WI – March 4

I’m back in Milwaukee March 04 for a Youth Ministry training event called “CONNECT 2006.”

The Conference will be at Elmbrook Church but it’s actually hosted by a number of youth ministry leaders in the area.

Maybe that’s why I like it so much.

I think the event is an expression of a collaborated effort of area leaders seeking to learn from each other, and spur each other on to serve the teenage community. It may not be too late to register for the event, so give Jen- Youth Min Coordinator, at Elmbrook a call if you’d like more information.

I’m looking forward to doing my seminar: Postmodernism in Youth Ministry: Embrace or Resist?

I’ll share more on this event in a later post, but I’m wondering if any of you have your own thoughts on the subject.

Ryan Bolger from Fuller seems to think that “youth ministry” doesn’t fit in a post-modern context because the church needs to emphasize a multi-generational approach. Mark Riddle has some thoughts on the topic, too.

Tell me what you think or are wrestling with, especially if you are a youth pastor, planning to be a youth pastor, or are doing youth ministry...


At Tue Feb 28, 08:53:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger jim said...

I read Ryan's rant on the subject, and to some extent I agree with what he had to say. But I'm a youth pastor myself, so it deffinately led to some thinking. I think that a youth pastor can't try to be "emergent" or "postmodern" just because he or she wants to, but only if that is truly who he or she is and truly who the community is.

It would be kinda like a Purpose Driven toting church saying, "Now we're going to become emergent." Or Jerry Falwell saying he's suddenly going to become postmodern (ok, just kidding)...

But I think Youth Pastors can approach their ministry with a intergenerational approach, rather than creating two extremes with yes, modern yps, and no, postmodern yps. I think the role of the youth pastor needs to continue to move forward. It's an innovation of the 80s. What's next for it? What's the next innovation that will meet the needs of emerging generations and communicate in ways that they are able to hear.

Maybe we need post-youth pastors.

At Tue Feb 28, 01:11:00 PM GMT-5, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I am wrestling with learning how to do a more emergent-type youth ministry when virtually all the youth ministry resources that are published are from a very modern perspective. There's very little mystery or opportunity for rich experience in the typical "sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll" curriculums.

Even those on spiritual practices are very linear and modern in their approach - Here's how to pray with the ACTS model, here's how to have a quiet time, here's these one or two verses ripped completely out of context that show that you should tithe...

It definitely spurs my creativity, but it leaves me frustrated as well.

At Tue Feb 28, 05:28:00 PM GMT-5, Blogger Will Branch said...

I'm not sure yet but I'll probably see there.
As for post-modernism, I'm not very familiar with that but I would like to get educated about it. It seems as though it is time for a change because in a lot of issues I think we've all gotten it wrong. Do you know of any websites to go to get familiar with this.
-Youth Pastor to be someday soon I hope.

At Fri Mar 03, 12:21:00 PM GMT-5, Blogger cory said...

i'm not sure that post-modernism is an "approach" to youth ministry. i think it is just the reality in which we exist. i have ministered on a large college campus, as well as a small-town wisconsin mailine church...and now as a volunteer at a free church and public school teacher. everywhere i go, i see kids speaking, acting, and living within this pluralist, postmodern worldview. i don't really think it is good or bad...it just sort of is. (if you don't believe me, try to get a teenager not steeped in evangelicalism to admit certain things are inherently "wrong.")

i guess we have to ask ourselves if we want to meet them where they are, or if we want to ask them to "be" something else. (maybe i betrayed my bias there...)

i like jim's idea about "post" youth pastors. i find myself being "post" just about everything, which is sort of frustrating at times.

the funny part is, i think lots of emergent, postmodern folks misunderstand the label as having more to do with your clothes, hair, music, and cussing preferences than an actual way of looking at the world.

i am looking forward to listening to/meeting you this weekend.



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