The Bright Side of Failure
One thing I love about youth ministry is that we always manage to find the silver lining when we miss the mark.
A proposed Youth Ministry StrategyDiocese of OxfordWe have a ProblemWe have an Opportunity59% of UK Churches have no contact with 15-19 year olds49% of UK Churches have no contact with 11- 14 year oldsNumbers of children and young people gathering with the church for worship continue to fall
• Reliance on an attractional model, assuming that if we put something on, young people will come …. and bring friends. This has not and is not working.• A difficulty in taking young people seriously as co-learners and co-journeyers in faith, rather than 'empty vessels' to be filled. As a result young people haven't had a chance to wrestle with the reality of what faith might mean, or to have the space and opportunity to encounter God.• Failing to model and live a transformative faith and spirituality in a way which young people can see, experience, question and be part of.• A failure to celebrate, encourage and resource ministry among young people, giving the impression that it just needs someone or anyone to volunteer and somehow muddle through.
I believe we need a creative and strategic response to halt the decline and to find ways of helping/enabling churches to re-engage with young people.Furthermore I believe, this is not a problem with young people. It's our problem.(There is good evidence to suggest that young people are not anti faith , and that they welcome a chance to explore issues of life, faith, death, meaning etc )
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.