Series Editor Tim Schmoyer This is the seventh installment in a series of questions I asked youth workers around the world. Ben Gray lives in the Atlanta area where he serves in a small town as minister to students. Learn more about Ben and his ministry at Open Switch.
What do you see as some of the main issues youth ministry is struggling with today?
Cultural relevance is a biggie. Another (for men as well as women) is porn. I think, though, that most youth ministers struggle with practicing biblical principles within their youth group. Like, not giving in to the numbers game.
What do you see as some of the main issues youth ministry is responding to effectively?
I think many youth ministries are doing very well with instilling biblical morals and characters into the students today.
In what ways does youth ministry need to change?
I think it needs to shift its focus. For decades now, youth ministers have seen their students as “little adults” but they’re not. Teens exist within the context of their families since they still live at home. Youth ministers need to understand this and adopt more of a “Family Ministry” rather than a “Youth Ministry.” You can’t take a child out of their family, fix them, and stick them back in like you can a part on a car. You have to view it as surgery. You “fix” the teen while treating the rest of the body as well.