This week I participated in a quick online survey (via youthworkermovement) about youth ministry. One of the questions was so simple yet amazingly provovative:
Imagine that you were tasked with ruining (yes, ruining) a vibrant youth ministry within 12 months, all while appearing to be trying to keep it afloat. How do you tactically dismantle it? (Tricky one. Think backwards.)
Here is the response I offered: "Great question. I would focus most of our efforts on offering high energy, technology centered, entertainment-feuled programs that attracted lots of teens, but give only passing nods to things like Bible study, issues related to justice, or talk of servanthood. I'd make a point of always talking up the number of teens we had at our gatherings without ever talking about the substance of our programs (because there wouldn't be any). Then, when I had the program built up with big attendance numbers, in the 12th month I'd suddenly drop all the fun programming and move instead to hardcore Bible study and sermons, telling the youth what they should believe and what will happen if they don't. That should do the trick."
What about you? How would you go about ruining a vibrant youth ministry in just 12 months time?