The Generation Gap

First Published January 1992 - The First Pair of Cleats on Church Family-Based Youth Ministry

In my ten years of youth ministry, I have always held to the belief that the parents’ place in youth ministry is in parent meetings and helping out with food or transportation on an occasional basis.It was a rare discovery to find parents who could serve as a volunteer staff member.

The reasons for this were that youth in their years of struggling for identity would be cramped with their parents in the youth meeting.The youth group is the place where youth could share their struggles of growing up and try on new roles and new expressions.

Challenge: To Get Your Youth to Gain From Sunday Church

Originally published October 2007.

You are a great teacher.  You are a great Bible teacher.  But unfortunately, your senior pastor is not.  At least not enough to keep the teens’ attention.  Between worship songs that are older and unfamiliar and/or your pastor’s style of preaching and/or other reasons which you know, your youth may not get much out of church.  Since your role as the youth worker is to bridge the parents to the youth and to bridge the youth to the church family, here are some ways to help your youth engage during “adult church.”

The Not-Abandoning Church

Originally published April 2005.

The following is a lengthy quote from Black and White Styles of Youth Ministry:  Two Congregations in America by William R. Myers. St. Andrews is the "white" church which was studied.Pastor Able and Grace Church is a neighbor church to St. Andrews and is the "black" church which was studied.

"Without rejecting the need for competent administrative practice, Grace Church remains wary of St. Andrew-like corporation models of youth ministry.'Such models fragment the church,' indicates Pastor Able.'When a church hires a professional youth minister to "do" youth ministry, that youth minister has been hired to run a second church, a "youth only church," alongside the intergenerational church.'Pastor Able continues: 'Youth in this model start relating to just the youth minister; they don't relate to the ministries of the church.Such youth ministry tends to promote a kind of "us" versus "them" mentality, never the "we" of the church; never the belongingness.'