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A recent Christianity Today article highlighted something I've been pondering for a while. Namely, that what we have been doing progmatically in youth ministry may not be producing the desired results when it comes to lifelong faith formation.

In the article, titled Youth Pastors Ditch Gross-Out Games and Help Student Ministry Grow Up, Jeremy Engbers of Olympia CRC (among others) shares some of their observations on this topic. 

I encourage you to read it and consider the following questions: 

  • What are you seeing in your context?
  • Do you resonate with what is shared? 
  • When you were younger, what kind of youth leader/director/pastor did you need?
  • Are you trying to relaunch youth ministry after Covid and finding things difficult? 

If you would like to discuss anything related to youth and emerging adult ministries, please reach out to Ron deVries at [email protected].


A thought provoking article indeed.

Two observations: The claim that youth groups were largely unheard of until 1979. My mother, born in 1926, attended youth club. I still have the photos and her youth club song book.

Secondly, the article argues for all-age church, then proceeds to outline strategies for the youth worker to try in youth groups. If we shouldn’t segregate then why continue to have a church structure that segregates?

When I was a teenager I had the youth pastor I needed. He was also the pastor for the just-arrived, the naughty kids and the good, the new and old parents, as well as single adults, grumpy folks, sweet-natured ones, and annoying wannabe theologians. He was our pastor.

Hetty, thank you for you comments. I am delighted to hear that you had a youth pastor who had a well rounded approach to ministry within the entire congregation. I love to hear stories about our senior pastors who connect with the younger generations, (as well as all the rest of the flock).

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