Youth Ministry Models?

Youth Ministry models? Is there such a thing. I went to University and was taught to follow a model from Doug Fields (A Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry) which I took with me almost everywhere I went and tried so had for that model to work. Then came youthwork in Hawaii. Yes, American by ownership, Hawaiian by culture. It has since then, ruined me in response to the general American attitudes towards life and even youth ministry. At this small church, I tried for the first few months to make this model fit and it didn’t! No matter how hard I tried. Then I realized, I am trying too hard. And so it isn’t about my efforts. It is about my ability to be present with the teens at all times. It is about dismantling the idea that youth groups can’t survive without models. I have done youth ministry for over 10 years internationally, and the one recurrent theme is kids want to know that they matter, that they have value. That doesn’t happen with models. That won’t happen while depending upon ideologies to rescue you. I think with the resurgence of the post-modern approach to life, more specifically, in the minds of teenagers, they have become even more cynical toward anything that looks like a model. That isn’t to say that we give up completely on any type of structure, it means that relationship always supercedes any type of model or model-esque approach. All over scripture, the idea that the relationships between God and man, and man to man was always the point, it always superceded anything the Law had set in place.


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