- Neo-Youth Ministry Series Introduction
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 1: “Youth”
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 2: “Ministry”
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 3: The Youth Minister
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 4: The Youth Minister as Theologian
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 5: The Youth Minister as Pastor
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 6: Youth Minister as Spiritual Director
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 7: The Youth Minister as Prophet
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 8: The Youth Minister as Youth Advocate
- Neo-Youth Ministry Part 9: The Youth Minister as Interpreter and Synthesizer
- Neo-Youth Ministry Methods: Education and Teaching
- Neo-Youth Ministry Methods: The End of Bait and Switch
- Neo-Youth Ministry Methods: Local and Contextual
Having given some attention to the actual term youth ministry, we now turn to the role of the youth minister (or pastor or director, whatever the exact title may be). Before diving into what might be the role of the youth minister within a Neo-Youth Ministry, some things need to be said in regard to the nature of the office itself.
I am of the opinion that when the church finds a robust, biblical, missional ecclesiology the need for a dedicated youth minister may very well disappear. Teens and their parents will be fully integrated into the life of the congregation and will be a part of the missional nature of the church. There will be no need to quarantine youth to their own rooms and programs except for perhaps a very limited time. Regardless, a full-time youth minister may not be necessary. (In fact, full-time staff may not be necessary at all, but I’m getting off track.)
However, because of the current nature of youth ministry with its current reliance upon full-time youth workers, it would be naïve to expect churches to be able to function without a youth minister overnight. Of course, there must be a transition period which takes youth ministry from where it is today towards a Neo-Youth Ministry. The youth minister will be integral to shaping and leading that process. It is out of this context, acknowledging that youth ministers may ultimately be unnecessary but integral to the process transitioning to their unnecessary-ness, that I offer a renewed job description for the youth worker.
In order to envision a Neo-Youth Ministry, the youth minister will need to take on the following roles:
2. Spiritual director
3. Youth Advocate
There might be some other emphases that I’m leaving out; I’ll unpack that as I go.
The next few weeks will be spent elaborating on how all of the above roles will help cultivate a Neo-Youth Ministry that moves beyond youth ministry as it is typically practiced and has the possibility of re-shaping the church’s ecclesiology as a whole.