Contemplative Youth Ministry: God is Not an Idea

"Find the Idea" by Khalid Albaih

As I have been studying contemplative prayer for my own spiritual development, I have been experimenting with incorporating contemplative practices into my work with youth and in worship services. In a worship service for our youth and in our afternoon jazz service I used a version of the examen in place of a traditional prayer […]

Confirmation Questions

Photo by Derek Bruff

Each year I begin our youth confirmation experience by asking our eighth grade students to write down the questions they have about God, faith, and the church. The questions they (and their adult leaders) come up with are always illuminating. Here are the questions our youth are asking this year, in no particular order but […]

Less Programming, More Networking

YM Network

Several years ago Mark Oestreicher called for a shift in youth ministry from program-based approaches to what he called Youth Ministry 3.0, grounded in affinity groups, contextualization, and missional engagement (read my short review of his book here.) Marko’s suggestions have provided a foundation for my thinking about youth ministry in recent years. One of […]

Post-Christendom Youth Ministry Blues

Post-Christendom Blues

Like youth workers around the country, I’m busy making final plans for the beginning of a new youth ministry program year: recruiting volunteers, putting together calendars, planning curricula. This will be my fourteenth year of youth ministry, and it gets harder every year. Youth and adults keep getting busier. Each year there are more and […]

Post-Christendom Youth Ministry

AWC Sketchnote

I’m WAY overdue sharing some of the highlights from my DMin thesis, “Post-Christendom Confirmation.” I presented some of it in my talk at the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference back in March with the more expansive title “Post-Christendom Youth Ministry.” Here are my slides from that talk: Post-Christendom Youth Ministry (PYM14) from johnvest I also really […]