Youth Ministry & Creation Care

Originally published January 15, 2008.

The Barna Group recently (August 20, 2007) did a study on what adult Americans thought was “absolutely necessary” for the U.S. to address within the next ten years.  The top issues were about securing the future of children followed by some national issues.  The fifth most important issue, which was answered by 60 percent, said it was “absolutely necessary” that Americans make an investment into environmental protections.  This answer tied with securing the state of marriage and families.

Another recent Barna Group survey  (September 17, 2007) asked various adults if global warming was a major problem facing America.  With the adults surveyed grouped into various groups such as age, mainline Protestants, Democrats or atheists, well over 50 percent believe that global warming is of great concern.  The two groups which were below 50 percent were Republicans and evangelical Christians.

Leadership Journal did a cleverly-phrased online poll asked to Christian leaders.  Twenty-four percent admitted that they were green before green was cool.

Inreach or Outreach: That is One of Many Questions

Originally published January 2003.

“Scott Thumma, a professor with Hartford Seminary’s Institute for Religion Research in Connecticut, says that the current trend in megachurches is to ‘create a whole alternative environment for (church) members where they walk into a garden of paradise of sorts.  They’re taking everyday life and saying, “We can duplicate it here.”  Schools, restaurants, after-school activities–they are duplicating and baptizing everyday life.’ (Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2001)

“This may sound really cool to Christians, but I wonder what the surrounding community thinks about a 500,000 square-foot ‘garden of paradise’ moving into their neighborhood.  Don’t you think someone might wonder why the church needs a coffee bar when Starbucks is already around the corner?

What is the Right Thing in Youth Ministry?

Originally published February 15, 2007.

Since 1990 Wild Frontier has been looking at youth ministry from that “wild” and “out there” perspective.  Hence why we are named as we are.  Coincidentally this is in the same time frame when Mark Senter, with his book The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry, challenged us that youth ministry needs to change.  Well, youth ministry is certainly trying to.  Back in the mid-90s books such as Purpose Driven Youth Ministry and Family-Based Youth Ministry (my favorite concept) came out with new paradigms.  In just the last year alone all of these new paradigm youth ministry books have come out: Creating an Authentic Youth Ministry, Youth Ministry in the 21st Century, Contemplative Youth Ministry, Presence-Centered Youth Ministry, Jesus-Centered Youth
, and A New Kind of Youth Ministry.  I will probably be reading most of these books because I know I can gain a nugget or two from these great thinkers.  But suddenly these are a lot of books telling me how to do the right thing.  Is it the right thing?  Which one is the right thing?  If I do the right thing, will my youth ministry go better?