A division in the Youth Ministry world

Young Youth Pastor

Last week, a great conversation was started when YM360 posted a great article about When is a Youth Pastor too old to be effective in Youth Ministry. That post spurned a lot of follow up blogs, and the last week, you may not have noticed something we saw.

Amidst all of the amazing Posts coming out about the topic of Age and Youth Ministry, we a bit of a division arise between the Older Youth Pastors and Younger Youth Pastors. Especially reading the comments of many of these articles, it seemed as though the last week many took the opportunity to voice their concerns about lack of respect, whether it was the Older Youth Pastors feeling like the Younger ones are pushing them out of their passions for fears of being unhip and uncool, or the Younger ones feeling like they were being lumped in with the rotten apples of the younger generation who are trying to make space for themselves as Leaders at the detriment to those who came before.

We have an amazing team of contributors that include both ‘sects’ if you will, and we’ve been discussing the letters we are posting for the last few days.

As we discussed the issues, the common belief we hold is that there are flaws in many Young Youth Pastors as well as many Older Youth Pastors, but that there are also great things to be learned from both Young and Older leaders. Too many ignore great voices in Youth Ministry based on their age and relevancy, and this is a tragic thing that is holding Youth Ministry back.

We tried to keep the letters from being too attacking of either group without backing down from some of the issues we see, and we kept some stuff out simply because we didn’t want it to become further fodder for the few on both sides who do take issue with the other generation.

Don’t just read one letter, read both. If you only read one, it won’t help make any progress. And these letters , we feel, are both great. But what is really great is your views of what is being said, so please share your thoughts in the comments.

Letter to Young Youth Pastors

Letter to Older Youth Pastors

8 Comments

  1. [...] From Church News Source: http://2fe.966.myftpupload.com/2012/02/a-division-in-the-youth-ministry-world/ ____________________________________________________ #family movie -THE LAMP- one family's loss shows them how to turn to Faith instead of magic #kidmin Article Continues Below Sponsor Information If you could have anything, what would YOU ask for? Can finding an old oil lamp, complete with a genie, REALLY make your life better? The characters in the movie “The Lamp” learn that there’s a lot more to life than what you THINK you need! Here’s what one viewer had to say about this movie- “The Lamp is an inspiring story about the power of the human spirit to create from within. Trost Moving Pictures does an amazing job of winding the story line through each character. An excellent and inspiring message for viewers of any age. Great message!!! Enjoy!!!”Lynne J Baecker Find out more and pick up a copy of this DVD for your family! CLICK HEREA community for Youth Pastors and youth ministry volunteers seeking the heart of Christ for the next generation. [...]
  2. [...] From Church News Source: http://2fe.966.myftpupload.com/2012/02/a-division-in-the-youth-ministry-world/ ____________________________________________________ #family movie -THE LAMP- one family's loss shows them how to turn to Faith instead of magic #kidmin Article Continues Below Sponsor Information If you could have anything, what would YOU ask for? Can finding an old oil lamp, complete with a genie, REALLY make your life better? The characters in the movie “The Lamp” learn that there’s a lot more to life than what you THINK you need! Here’s what one viewer had to say about this movie- “The Lamp is an inspiring story about the power of the human spirit to create from within. Trost Moving Pictures does an amazing job of winding the story line through each character. An excellent and inspiring message for viewers of any age. Great message!!! Enjoy!!!”Lynne J Baecker Find out more and pick up a copy of this DVD for your family! CLICK HEREA community for Youth Pastors and youth ministry volunteers seeking the heart of Christ for the next generation. [...]
  3. Hey guys, First off, let me say I've really enjoyed watching the vision of the site unfold. You guys have done a great job of executing the dreams and plans born out of your passion to be a fresh resource to youth workers. As a 20-month old ministry ourselves, we totally understand the dedication it requires to stick with it. So, be encouraged. What you are doing makes a difference. The real reason I wanted to make sure I took the time to write is in response to this post, and to both of the letters you have posted. I will admit I was a little taken aback at first. I read your thoughts and was surprised when they took a turn toward discussing the division, or the negativity . . . however best to describe it. I can honestly say that I didn't feel any of this from the dialogue that was generated around the "How Old" post we wrote. If anything, I was deeply encouraged by the passion of the older generation of youth workers that have gone before us. I was tempted at first to think you guys were reading with a chip on your shoulder, which, hey, it happens . . . No big deal. Then I went back and read through the comments on our blog, and I realized why you were inclined to feel the way you do. When I read through some of the comments with the "young youth minister's lens" on, I saw how some of these comments could have been perceived as derogatory, or "you're too young to know how to do REAL ministry." While I can't speak for the individuals who commented on the article, or those who have written their own, I can speak for ym360 when I say that we certainly don't hold that view. (And my hunch [and hope] is that the majority of people who responded don't hold this view either.) I can look back on my time ministering to teens and see that, through God's grace alone, I have been effective at every age. Maybe the best way to say it is that I have been effective in different areas and different ways through the years. (And hey, I'm only 35, so you know, not out to pasture yet or anything.) But there is certainly no desire on our part to insinuate that younger youth workers can't have a huge impact on the lives of the students they minister to. For me, the main justification for the article came from attending five different youth ministry conferences this year. What I saw was a trend: lots of younger ministers, lots of older ministers, not a ton in their 30's. This is by no means really representative of who's out there doing the ministering. But, it seems to support what I've encountered in my personal life with friends and acquaintances of mine: Sometime in their 30's youth workers tend to FEEL they have outgrown youth ministry. I think this is a real problem. And this was the genesis of the article. Hopefully I've cleared up any perception that we're biased one way or another to any specific age of youth worker. The only bias I have is that I'm extremely partial to youth workers, period. I hate that there is the perception among younger youth workers of any age-based condescension on the part of older youth workers. I sincerely hope this isn't a wide-ranging position, and I can say in my daily interactions with youth workers, I don't see it as being pervasive. But, thank you for pointing it out and for allowing me the opportunity to clarify our thoughts on the issue. You guys are doing an awesome job. Keep it up. God bless, Andy Blanks Co-founder, youthministry360
    • Hey Andy, first off thanks so much for leaving this comment, I greatly appreciated it. I tweeted you this, but mainly, just to clear things up, we loved the post from you guys and that wasn't what spurned these two letters. It was in seeing some of the other posts that popped up in response to the YM360 one, and the comments on those, that we sort of saw an attitude that, though it didn't develop just in the last few weeks, we subtly showing itself in the attitudes of both Younger Youth Pastors and Older Youth Pastors. Thanks for your encouragement, we love what you guys do, too. God Bless! Ben Read
  4. Hey guys, First off, let me say I've really enjoyed watching the vision of the site unfold. You guys have done a great job of executing the dreams and plans born out of your passion to be a fresh resource to youth workers. As a 20-month old ministry ourselves, we totally understand the dedication it requires to stick with it. So, be encouraged. What you are doing makes a difference. The real reason I wanted to make sure I took the time to write is in response to this post, and to both of the letters you have posted. I will admit I was a little taken aback at first. I read your thoughts and was surprised when they took a turn toward discussing the division, or the negativity . . . however best to describe it. I can honestly say that I didn't feel any of this from the dialogue that was generated around the "How Old" post we wrote. If anything, I was deeply encouraged by the passion of the older generation of youth workers that have gone before us. I was tempted at first to think you guys were reading with a chip on your shoulder, which, hey, it happens . . . No big deal. Then I went back and read through the comments on our blog, and I realized why you were inclined to feel the way you do. When I read through some of the comments with the "young youth minister's lens" on, I saw how some of these comments could have been perceived as derogatory, or "you're too young to know how to do REAL ministry." While I can't speak for the individuals who commented on the article, or those who have written their own, I can speak for ym360 when I say that we certainly don't hold that view. (And my hunch [and hope] is that the majority of people who responded don't hold this view either.) I can look back on my time ministering to teens and see that, through God's grace alone, I have been effective at every age. Maybe the best way to say it is that I have been effective in different areas and different ways through the years. (And hey, I'm only 35, so you know, not out to pasture yet or anything.) But there is certainly no desire on our part to insinuate that younger youth workers can't have a huge impact on the lives of the students they minister to. For me, the main justification for the article came from attending five different youth ministry conferences this year. What I saw was a trend: lots of younger ministers, lots of older ministers, not a ton in their 30's. This is by no means really representative of who's out there doing the ministering. But, it seems to support what I've encountered in my personal life with friends and acquaintances of mine: Sometime in their 30's youth workers tend to FEEL they have outgrown youth ministry. I think this is a real problem. And this was the genesis of the article. Hopefully I've cleared up any perception that we're biased one way or another to any specific age of youth worker. The only bias I have is that I'm extremely partial to youth workers, period. I hate that there is the perception among younger youth workers of any age-based condescension on the part of older youth workers. I sincerely hope this isn't a wide-ranging position, and I can say in my daily interactions with youth workers, I don't see it as being pervasive. But, thank you for pointing it out and for allowing me the opportunity to clarify our thoughts on the issue. You guys are doing an awesome job. Keep it up. God bless, Andy Blanks Co-founder, youthministry360
    • Hey Andy, first off thanks so much for leaving this comment, I greatly appreciated it. I tweeted you this, but mainly, just to clear things up, we loved the post from you guys and that wasn't what spurned these two letters. It was in seeing some of the other posts that popped up in response to the YM360 one, and the comments on those, that we sort of saw an attitude that, though it didn't develop just in the last few weeks, we subtly showing itself in the attitudes of both Younger Youth Pastors and Older Youth Pastors. Thanks for your encouragement, we love what you guys do, too. God Bless! Ben Read

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