Let's start at the beginning. I'm not a youth pastor, but I once was.
I didn't leave the profession because of hurt or burnout. God simply led me to something different. I need to be very clear. I don't hate youth ministry, youth pastors, youth workers, or teenagers. Nor have I given up on Jesus. I still maintain very close friendships with the teens, youth workers, and pastors of the church in which I once served as youth minister. There's no bad blood between any of us!
This blog is a reflection of the effectiveness of youth ministry. That's right, we're going to put youth ministry under the microscope. The thoughts posted on this website are birthed out of years of experiences (mine and others) on the front lines without forgetting to look at it all against standard of scripture.
I believe youth ministry is in need of a reformation.
Some who will read this blog don't.
My conclusions may not sit right with some of you. In fact, they may anger you. They angered me at one time. But be assured - your anger is not my goal, nor is the demise of youth ministry. Many who read this blog found Jesus through youth ministry. That's a good thing.
But it would be a mistake to only look at the good while pretending the bad doesn't exist. If it's OK with you, let's keep the good stuff and throw of the bad (not bad as in "evil" but bad as in "ineffective" or "detrimental"). Or better yet, let's keep the scriptural stuff and throw off the rest.
Here's a statement we can all agree on: Reformation implies change. Consequently, a large part of our discussion might focus on the things that aren't working in youth ministry. The nature of this blog will require discussing the things that might need to change.
And while we're at it: The current form of youth ministry wasn't around when Jesus walked the earth. That in itself doesn't make youth ministry bad - or wrong. But it does imply that we can talk about its faults without feeling irreligious.
I'll likely have my share of critics. That's OK. It's something I expect. But I also expect that those who read will be civil, kind, loving (etc.) in any discussion that this blog might spur. Neglecting the fruits of the Spirit while making a point will not further either your argument or the Kingdom of God. Remember, we're all on the same team.
And I also expect openmindedness and honesty. Let's admit any shortcomings youth ministry might have and allow God to transform them.
It might be a messy journey, but it'll be worth it!