Seismos pt. 4 – YM 2.0 appreciative inquiry & related thoughts

picture-65Seismos is a gathering of 17 youth leaders from 4 states & 15 churches representing over 9 different denominations. We met for three days (April 20-22, 2009) to dig into what the future of youth ministry might be. Mark Oestreicher’s “Youth Ministry 3.0” formed the leaping off point for our discussion (many of our thoughts will make more sense if you’ve read it).  For this sixth post (intro, first, second, third, highlight video posts), I’m going to outline our appreciative inquiry of Youth Ministry 2.0 & some of the questions that came up related to it.  By the way, sorry about the delay since the last post…I’ve been on spring retreat with my middle schoolers & am finally back & recovered & ready to keep rolling on here.  I’m interested to hear your feedback

What are the positives/priorities that we want to retain from YM 2.0?

-the development of Youth Specialties & a variety of other youth ministry specific organizations

-youth pastors (as a recognized position)

-youth missions going out

-a more professional/intentional view of youth ministry

-discipleship emphasis

-more relationally focused

-development of some structure

-more evaluation

-shift from denominational only use of curriculum/etc, to more exchange of ideas

-some veins of Christian music

-learned how to study youth culture

-development of fun/enjoyment as part of youth church experience

-beginnings of mentoring

-engagement & reflection of culture

-engaged the question “why do we believe what we believe?”

A few thoughts & reflections that occurred during this time as well:

Someone noted that youth ministry did well to learn from the education system and a variety of its practices during this time period.  At that time, the educational system had the most current understanding of developmentally appropriate teaching 1176922_67297562and integration of various teaching practices.  However, we also observed that we feel that the education system overall has become poorer since then, particularly with its emphasis on standardized testing, etc, and that youth ministry, while perhaps still gleaning some good practices from the established educational system, needs to either find a few model to learn from or boldly blaze the way and become the most well-informed sector of society when it comes to connecting to students.  Other potential areas to learn from who are reaching & teaching youth effectively are media/entertainment, advertisers, and social networking & other web 2.0 technology.  What are best practices we can glean from these?

“The point in church culture at times seems to be more about information more than relationship.  For example, the question is almost always asked by parents “what did you learn?” but that’s not necessarily the point.”  This basic idea that was brought up got some push back suggesting that there is always learning…but that it doesn’t have to be an upfront or formal presentation.  So how do we engage “subversively”, so that they’re learning without realizing it but that it still influences their life?

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