Thank you, twitter. Scot McKnight tweeted this link to Chris Folmsbee blogging about “Youth Ministry and Narrative Intelligence.”
Read the whole post- it isn’t very long. The point I want to focus on sharing is the stated (new) purpose of youth ministry:
That purpose (derived from our mission which is derived from God’s narrative) of youth ministry is to participate in God’s restoration of the world toward its intended wholeness.
So the purpose of youth ministry, and, I would add, of any Christian ministry, is “to participate in God’s restoration of the world toward its intended wholeness.”
What a powerful purpose! What a different focus from traditional youth ministry! Let’s face it: the purpose of youth ministry has traditionally been
- to reach as many kids as possible with the gospel
- to connect kids with and enculturate them into the church enough to keep them into adulthood
- to segregate youth from the rest of the church to entertain them and leave the rest of us alone.
I would contend that most traditional youth ministry tends to aim toward some combination of these three foci.
What does youth ministry look like if its purpose is to participate in God’s restoration of the world?