Friday, April 27, 2007

    Small Front door....Big Back Door

    I've heard it said that many churches have small front doors (where visitors come in to check things out) and big back doors (where many of those who feel unwelcome choose to leave and never come back). I suspect many of us experience this in youth ministry, where youth come to visit but never come back or youth who have been coming casually disappear and no one even notices. I asked a fellow blogger, Stuart, who's opinion I have come to value, what his thoughts are on how we welcome new students into our youth groups and keep them there. Stuart's youth ministry position is not in a typical church setting, but what he has to say on this subject is both thoughtful and helpful for anyone working with youth. Check out his vlog on this very subject here and add your two cents.


    mark said...

    hi guys, i like the blog.

    I wonder if this kind of idea isn't really rethinking youth ministry as much as being creative with a dying kind of youth ministry.

    what do you think?

    Brian said...

    I think you are on to something. THe current popular model of youth ministry, it seems to me, just doesn't work. Truth is, we know the back door of the Church is getting bigger as more young people walk away and don't come back. This oft-used model of isolating youth in their own group, own classes, own space, away from the rest of the Church body, seems to be having the opposite effect that we would want to see. P.S. Thanks for posting here. I've long enjoy reading your blog.

    mark said...

    thanks Brian. I wonder if the future of youth ministry has less of a "come to us and our programs" (where we have doors) and more of a "we are sent people who minister to our neighbor" kind of feel to them. Where the parents within our churches who coach soccer with a group of 13 year old girls every week carry with them the mantle of the kingdom of God. That our youth ministries are truelty great when our leaders are reaching out and loving kids throughout our community in ways we don't seem to value as much these days. or worse.. these are the things we think get in the way of our ministry... just a few thoughts. good stuff. thanks for the opporunity.