A New Kind of Youth Ministry by Chris Folmsbee was a good short read. I managed to eat it down in a couple of 45 minute train journeys into London. The books seems to be a application of Brian McLaren’s writings to youth ministry – and whilst I am cautious of some things McLaren has written about, this book does seem to work. It highlights tensions where Jesus emphasised one thing, and the church as an institution seems to have taken ministry in a different direction.
It touches on a wide variety of areas: evangelism, discipleship, service, young people as leaders, mission, volunteer leadership, education, and most importantly ourselves – how do we as youth workers and ministers need to change.
When I read, I read with a pencil or pen to scribble thoughts and highlight bits I want to remember – this book has a lot of that. Let me show you just a few clips:
I know this world is comprised of those who believe and those who do not believe. I am, however, suggesting that if we want our students to seek to live among needs rather than merely meet needs, we must help them see humanity as one gathering of people, all created and loved by God. (p. 62)
We encouraged students to embrace the idea that, wherever they might be in the world, they are called to be witnesses to God’s restorative plan. Missional living is not about what one does on the occasional trip to a far-off place. It is a way of living at home, at school, and in our everyday lives – wherever God places us. (p. 92-93)
You have to locate the best educator [in English – the best teacher/communicator]. Maybe the best educator is you – or maybe it isn’t you! (p. 118)
We need to become happy for one another, and celebrate the ways God is working in other’s ministries. (p. 134)