On Thursday morning, I woke up at 4 am and preparred to get myself ready for my departure. I had to stop by the church for a few things and I left the church around 4:45 in the morning. I got over to the airport and had an easy time getting parked, walking to security and getting to the gate.
A little after 7, I was in the plane and ready for departure. We had a ground delay. Why can't the delay happen in the airport instead of the plane ?? Anyways, we got up in the air and landed in Atl. I jumped on MARTA ( I love that travel ) and got checked in at the hotel. After checking into the hotel, I grabbed a Pittsburgh sandwich ( yummy ) and went off to my Critical Concern Class: ReThinking Traditional Youth Ministry Models
The class session was 5-hours long and was led by Mark Hesel and Brock Morgan. They did a good job in leading and facilitating the discussion. I think that if you had to summarize the 5 hour session in one sentence, it would be the following:
Culture has changed over the last 40 years but youth ministry has not changed.
Yes, I know that it is not "earth-shattering" and it was probably information that most people know but I think that it is vital to have that in-front of you as you begin to think about how we should do youth ministry.
Now, the greatest underlying message that was developed as the foundation was the following:
We, as youth ministry, need to make sure that we are not seperated from the life of the church.
I think that this is vital as we begin to shape and/or re-shape the youth ministry culture and the landscapes of our churches. The class time was really focused on us looking at the history of youth ministry and how it came about and what has led us to where we are.
Keywods in the context of YM
Late 60' to 80's: Decline & Disillusionment
1990's to Presnet: Restlessness and Searching for Answers
We then began to take a deep look at the teens in our culture and seeing what it means for us as a church as we see teens with the following mindest: Moralistic Therapuetic Deism.
I think that the most poweful concept to grasp was how the shift from who the influencers are in their lives and how we can "tap" into this to create ministry opportunities.
It seems like a contradiction (for students they are fine with the concept though) but the powerful force that we need to examine is the following:
Hyper-Individualistic and Communalistic
Maybe more on that later.
After 5 hours of class, I went and got a pizza and drink and waited for the exhibit hall to open. When it opened, I went in an saw the 350 booths. I have to tell you, I struggle with this ALOT.
We are SO CONSUMERISTIC !!!! I think it saddens God with where we put all of our money. I think we might be doing more "kingdome work" if we would place the money in other avenues. I am struggling in this area and I do not have it figured out.
I did stop by and chat with the YMX crew. I was not sure how that would go. I had not been there (to their site/forums) in 2 months. I enjoyed seeing / meeting them. I had met a few of them face-face before and for quite a few, it was the first time. It was nice to put a face to a screen name. Numerous people have asked if I was coming back. The answer is ....... I am not sure. I will make a post on that in the near future and it will be a response to Adam's post about being a "niche".