When people ask me what my youth ministry model and philosophy this is what I am going to start saying,
"I am A New Vintage Kind of Deep Organic Purpose-Driven Post-Emergent Sticky Orange Middle School Ministry 3.0 Youth Guy!"
I know it is a mouth full, but I think it would be well worth it! I am looking forward to the reactions and the faces of people as that rolls out of my mouth. I may confuse some people, but I think it will also help many more. I will include everyone and not offend anyone. It is kind of my own "youth ministry correct" answer.
Honestly, this is pretty much were I am at after almost 18 years of youth ministry. I am not really set on one philosophy or idea. After working in rural, suburban, and urban settings...serving in independent fundamental churches to mainline liberal denominations to old southern baptist ....and allowing God to take me Pennsylvania, Louisiana,Wisconsin, and Ohio...I have come to a point that I am forming my own vision based on where I am at and where God is leading. Not that I have it all figured it, I am just in the process ALWAYS. That pretty much the point-- never stop forming and shaping who you are and what you are doing. Middle Schoolers/Jr. Highers never do and they deserve ministries and people that are continually re-working, re-reading, and re-shaping ministry!!
I have said for years. Popular music changes ever couple weeks. Fashion and clothes change ever 6 months. What is popular and hot will change in the next week. The church and how is chooses to minister changes ever 10 years. Who is going to have the most current relevant influence on the JH/MS students that I minister to? I want it to be me but it is an everyday up hill battle.
Great respect and big props to those who are currently influencing me, represented in my newest answer to the question what is my ministry style and philosphy?
- New Kind of Youth Ministry- Folmsbee
- Vintage Church- Driscoll
- Deep Church- Keller
- Organic Church-Cole
- Finding Organic Church- Viola
- Purpose Driven Youth Ministry- Fields
- The Great Emergence- Tickle/ Emergent Church- Kimball
- Sticky Faith-Powell & Griffin
- Think Orange- Joiner
- Middle School Ministry- Oesteicher & Rubin
- Youth Ministry 3.0- Oestriecher
Just some thoughts after a conversation I had today? What are your thoughts? Who is influencing your JH/MS ministry philosophy?