Thesis On Youth Ministry

Thesis On Youth Ministry-64
Young people, so the argument goes, need a place that more directly forms their identity as “Christian youth,” a place that gives them an identity that will stick during and after their time at college.Yet Bonhoeffer says we should Youth enjoys no special privilege in the church-community.

Young people, so the argument goes, need a place that more directly forms their identity as “Christian youth,” a place that gives them an identity that will stick during and after their time at college.Yet Bonhoeffer says we should Youth enjoys no special privilege in the church-community.Sadly, youth ministers often think a major part of our job description is to claim a special privilege for the young. We only fortify the generation gap, pushing young people off into youth ministry programs and away from the center of the congregation.

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For a while, I thought it was like the Loch Ness monster or Sasquatch.

People said it existed, but I’d never seen it, and nobody was able to tell me how I could.

There, resting at the end of Volume 12 of the “Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works,” hidden in an appendix, was “Eight Theses on Youth Work.” Nobody knows when Bonhoeffer wrote this short essay, but it was clearly a major part of his most consistent pastoral experience.

It’s hard for many to believe, but Bonhoeffer spent his entire pastoral ministry, from 1925 to 1939, with either children or youth. And he wrote these theses toward the end of that period, after years of experience with young people, and writing other theological essays and books.

After all, I was constantly told by my elders, “The youth are the future of the church! We gave the youth their own small groups, their own worship experience, and their own sermons.

Why I Want To Be A Cosmetologist Essay - Thesis On Youth Ministry

We have to do everything we can to instill within them Christlike values…” (so they might remain in the church when they are older). Our instincts told us that in order to keep the youth in church, we ought to treat them like they are special, hire their own staff, feed them curriculum designed specifically for their age groups, and send them to serve in places with only their peers.What if I had designed a youth ministry that didn’t elevate youth in the church, or give them their own worship experience, or feed them their own curriculum? This brings us, of course to famed German theologian and spy Deitrich Bonhoeffer.Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian and pacifist pastor, who became an anti-Nazi spy and was later imprisoned and hanged for his “treason.” In short, he was way cooler than either Seinfeld or Newman What you may not know is that Bonhoeffer was heavily involved in ministry to youth and children for much of his life.Bonhoeffer’s eight theses have a lot to teach Christians today, especially as we struggle to help young people hold on to their faith during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.At a time when many are concerned about the “rise of the nones” and young people “drifting away” from faith, Bonhoeffer has much wisdom to offer.It is to serve the church-community by hearing, learning, and practicing the word.God’s spirit in the church has nothing to do with youthful criticism of the church, the radical nature of God’s claim on human beings nothing to do with youthful radicalism, and the commandment for sanctification nothing to do with youthful impulse to better the world. Ironically, the more anxious we have been about young people leaving the faith, the more we have tried to create a privileged space for them; and the more we have created such a privileged space, the more we have created avenues for them to depart from Christian commitment.but rather, What is the church-community and what is the place of youth within it?” If Bonhoeffer were speaking to a group of youth ministers today, I believe he would re-articulate his second thesis with language more akin to George Costanza: whatever your instincts tell you…do the opposite. When we make youth ministry its own thing, apart from the rest of the church, apart from the rest of the body, we are doing more harm than good.Because of “special privilege,” we segregate young people in their own special youth rooms and youth ministries.Youth are so “special” to the church that they become a major line item in the annual budget.

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