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The book identifies families, congregations, and mentor relationships as the "holy ground" where young people are most likely to encounter God. They offer an approach ...
The book identifies families, congregations, and mentor relationships as the "holy ground" where young people are most likely to encounter God. They offer an approach to youth ministry that is built on spiritual practices like a circle of friends and developing a rhythm of life.
Built on a keen awareness of the needs of youth, this book offers a new paradigm for youth ministry, which is not activity-based but is based on a model of spiritual care for youth. Questions and exercises for personal reflection, educational use, and spiritual growth make this book a valuable resource that can revitalize those in a "burnout" profession. It is useful for individual reading and also for discussion by ministry teams.
Posted March 9, 2000
Busy. That describes most youth workers. They desperately want to reach teenagers, so on any given day you will find them making last minute preparations for the fall retreat, planning for next Wednesday¿s talk, or hanging out with students at the high school football game. However, while all of these are important components of a ¿successful¿ youth ministry, they are not the most important. According to the authors of The Godbearing Life, the primary job of every youth worker is to provide spiritual direction to their students. While this may seem like an obvious statement, the simple fact is that most youth workers are not assuming this role as their primary responsibility. We have developed the mentality that in order to reach students with the gospel message we must have a ¿full-service¿ youth program complete with all the bells and whistles. That takes time¿time that would be better spent being a pastor to students, helping them to discover that Christianity is not a religion, but a lifestyle. Providing strong scriptural and theological support as well as using examples from their own life, the authors propose an approach to youth ministry that is desperately needed. The authors not only advocate the importance of being spiritual directors for our students, but they present six primary practices by which to do it: communion, compassion, nurture, witness, dehabituation, and worship. It is through these practices that we establish our identity as followers of Jesus Christ, and we are formed into a community of faith. These practices will strike a chord with the postmodern youth to which we minister. This book may not be for every youth worker. If you are looking for another ¿quick-fix¿ or book of ideas, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you are serious about enabling students to own their faith and grow toward mature Christian adulthood, then you can¿t afford not to read this book. In my thirteen years of youth ministry, I have read hundreds of books on youth ministry. I am not exaggerating when I say that this is THE BEST of the bunch.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.