How does a youth worker change the culture of the youth ministry? The church? Discussions from Chapters Five and Six

The days are rushed. Parents are desperate. Youth are bored. You need to make sure that the cookies are going to be there and that someone reserved the space. Oh, and write your devotion. Hurry! It’s on in an hour. Familiar? Is it all followed by a disheartening board meeting or a parent gathering where someone backhandedly tells you that you are doing it all wrong? DeVries takes a square look at the common plague of youth ministry and pegs the problem.

We are task-oriented in youth ministry, only looking at our vision because the tasks drive us there half-heartedly. We never ask the questions about the climate of our congregation. We react to urgent requests instead of having a solid program in the first place. Devries establishes five principles of building a positive climate for youth ministry:
  1. It delivers results.
  2. It trusts the process.
  3. It imports joy into the chaos.
  4. It instills stories and metaphors (that is, redefining set-backs).
  5. It embraces rituals and traditions, signs and symbols.

Devries argues that when a youth ministry follows these principles, they create a climate that is both attractive to youth and families, but that is able to provide consistency in ministry.

Questions for your pondering and responding:
  1. How does the climate of the congregation as a whole effect the climate-building for a youth ministry?
  2. What is the climate in your ministry?
  3. What are the major things in your ministry setting holding you back from address environmental issues?

Share your thoughts below!

Find more Book Club discussions on Sustainable Youth Ministry:

Sustainable Youth Ministry, pt. 1

Sustainable Youth Ministry, pt. 2

Sustainable Youth Ministry, pt. 4

Sustainable Youth Ministry, pt. 5