I’ve seen a lot of conversations on blogs regarding the future of youth ministry. One of the best articles was Jim Candy’s 10 Trends that will Reshape Youth Ministry.
3. Sunday morning programs will become history
Congregations will become increasingly dissatisfied with the separation between adults and its young people at their weekend services. Worship services will change to accommodate younger people and those congregations that do not, will continue to disappear.
4. Same sex conversations will reach a fever pitch
Homosexuality, and the church’s view on that topic, will be a lightning rod for middle and high school kids in considering faith in Jesus. Youth ministries will increasingly need to lovingly converse with kids and the broader culture about its viewpoint – whatever it may be.
6. Youth workers will be older
The stereotype of the youth worker as someone in their early 20s who views youth work as a stepping stone to another pastoral position will continue to fade away.
8. Children’s ministry will emerge as the most strategic opportunity in the church
Youth workers will begin to realize that putting multiple, Jesus-loving adults in kids’ lives means to affect the way the entire family system thinks about their relationships. The best opportunity to influence those family relationships is when children are young and family relational patterns have not yet been established. Savvy youth ministries will seek to influence children’s ministry to encourage parents to create extended family relationships.
10. Leading churches will learn new ways to help kids serve
The days where churches create “service projects” for kids to participate in will decrease. In its place will emerge more thought-out ways that churches come alongside young people who demonstrate a passion for particular causes or issues. Leading churches will ask teenagers to dream, pray and then support young peoples’ passions rather than create service projects and ask them to participate.