Thursday, February 4, 2010

Youth ministry

I came across an article from the Christian Century's blog about youth ministry. Kate Murphy writes: Theolog: Is youth ministry killing the church?

She poses a good question. Murphy argues that small congregations that involve youth heavily in parish life might, in the long run, be better than congregations with lots of "programs."

In their book, The Godbearing Life, Kenda Creassy Dean and Ron Foster describe “the one-eared Mickey Mouse” as a common model for congregational youth ministry. The youth is something associated with, but not totally a part of the congregation. We sequester youth’s involvement in church to “Youth Sunday” once a year.

We could extrapolate this model to make an extreme—what I would call the “Vincent Van Gogh.” The youth group becomes completely cut off from the rest, wounded and bloody on the floor. I don't mean to be morbid, but I hope no congregation ever becomes like this.

What Kate Murphy describes, and what I hope for, is something more integrated. Youth are not the future of the church, but a vital part of it today.


  1. Hey,

    I totally agree. I want our youth group to be integrated into the church! We are defiantly on the right track! GO AMAZING GRACE

  2. Interesting post regarding youth in the church. The visual is particularly helpful to get the point you are trying to make.

    The youth are certainly being incorporated into more of the worship activities in the church. Perhaps we could look at inviting the youth to attend the adult Sunday School peridically. Maybe once a month?