Sunday, July 16, 2006

    Hands on ministry

    Having just returned from a week of inner-city mission work, and my final major youth event for the summer, I finally have some time to sit down and start doing some serious reflection not only on my own work in ministry with youth, but on the approach the Church as a whole takes to the inclusion of young people. This is no easy task as there is no one single approach to youth ministry within the Church. Some see youth minstry as evangelism, others as education. Some see it as mission, others as conversion. Admittedly, my perspective is limited. I have served over fifteen years as a minister to youth within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a small, theologically moderate and sometimes even progressive Christian denomination. When I started, around the age 0f 23, I had little idea what I was doing, but because I was young and single, I was just what a church was looking for: a young guy who would attract youth and keep them entertained. Now 40, my understanding of my call to youth ministry and my understanding of ministry with youth have gone through some fairly significant transformations. It is these understandings, as well as challenging questions, insights, and even some new ideas that I hope to explore here.