Saturday, October 8, 2005

(Youth) Pastors That Make a Difference

Somewhere around the early 90's, I started to notice that the younger generations were changing -- again. As someone who started out in youth ministry 21 years ago, I believe that "change" is the only constant in ministry to and among youth.

Being in youth ministry -- coupled with a healthy respect for a missiological understanding of the advancing Kingdom -- was the 'back door' that motivated me to constantly re-think and re-tool how we did ministry.

The late Mike Yaconelli wrote a provocative article a few years back that has become -- in my observations of youth pastors today -- not only an accurate assessment of our church culture, but also an increasingly pervasive experience for many of the young pastors that I meet, here in Kelowna as well as other parts of Canada and the United States.

Yaconelli's Getting Fired for the Glory of God is an eerily accurate assessment. If you don't believe me, befriend some youth pastors, earn their trust, and listen to their stories. Mike's comments in the article are grievously accurate.

I have met or heard the stories of youth pastors -- just this year -- who have been fired for not "bringing in the numbers", for choosing a discipling ministry model over a big-event-driven model, and for daring to question the corporate approach that too many churches are falling prey to.

My interest in breaking down inter-generational division is still strongly held, but for the sake of some of the youth pastors who are currently trying to find their way "in the system", I will be posting some thoughts on youth ministry in today's culture in the coming days.

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