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Hi Rebecca! 

This is such a great topic to dive into, though I'm afraid that there isn't really space to unpack it here. I guess a few reflections and thoughts can contribute, though:

1) I will start by saying that our church doesn't currently do this, though we've considered this specific transition in the past. 
2) My primary concerns with doing an evening like this becomes primarily segregation. I believe that a part of our objectives as leaders is to include different age groups into our ministry, and if you tie everyone else up at the same time during the same evening (parents in one classroom, students in another, children in a third, and elderly in a fourth) you're creating distinct and specific divisions amongst age groups. I'm more about intergenerational ministry that contributes as a whole to the church, and doesn't like to see division. 
3) Finally, you could run into volunteer issues when trying to include everyone at the same place at the same time. 

I know it's not an ideal model, but the division of programs could actually contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive ministry in terms of others (beyond youth). It's definitely not as convenient, but it is a more inclusive approach (in my mind). 

Are you speaking in terms of "Commissioning" through classis? Or in terms of simply calling a youth director? If you're seeking ordination ("Commissioned Pastor) through the classis, you simply have to set something up through classis clerk. The process (as far as I understand it) varies from exactly how the process goes. But when I did my Article 23 (Commissioned Pastor), I had a mentor who guided me through the process in conglomeration with our congregations pastor (worked on my strengths and weaknesses together).


Does that help?

Hi Joy,

I appreciate you bringing forward the movie, but I would challenge you to look stronger at current trends in youth ministry, or as you've grouped it, "Modern Youth Ministry." As a youth pastor in contact with many other youth pastors, we acknowledge the history of age segregation, and adamantly apologize for it, but we're also pressing forward in inclusive youth ministry. I appreciated what the film said, but it threw youth ministry as a whole under the bus. Youth ministry has moved beyond "event" and "show" and has morphed into a more inclusive, multifaceted ministry which is getting healthier. 

Shane Rozeveld on May 30, 2013

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hi Lou! 

Thanks for your feedback, and for credit for the article. But, unfortunately, this was put together by Ray Heeres, and you'd have to follow the link above to his profile to have your question answered. Thanks!


I too appreciate your comments on this topic. I think it's great to have multiple approaches deal with a conversation. 

I will challenge you on a few things. I believe I'm challenging the church more for it's complacency than for it's theology. Instead of settin the bar for inclusivity and involvement, we find ourselves behind secular culture, who is setting the bar. I don't entirely disagree with your argument of inclusion, but I feel we've wanted our doctrines to speak for themselves instead of living them out. Where does this point us? To action. I believe in living out my faith, and that includes children of poverty, alcoholics, homosexuals, and drug users being part of my journey (something not currently part of our doctrine: especially homosexuality). So the challenge of inclusion means more than keys behind a screen. And that's a grey topic when lived out. 

Being a youth pastor, I really appreciate this article for a few reasons. First, I think it gives a strong voice to something that's been swept under the rug for some time. I wasn't aware of this before working with them, but youth are full of brilliant ideas, energy, and charisma – something a lot of our congregations envy. What better way to harness those gifts than involving them in the core conversations. Secondly, the "maturity" of students is almost always undercredited. They may say or do things that are left field, but maybe that's also the reason they stay away from church leadership (because they're looked down upon so agressively). The church should be the place we not only encourage growth, but where we display grace. And what better way to show those qualities than at a leadership level?

I understand that there are legal boundaries to this, but most congregations won't consider anyone for leadership until at least mid twenties, nearly ten years after they can be "legally bound".

Don't think kids care about this? Simply ask them yourselves. I did and I was surprised at how disappointed they were for not being embraced as future leaders. 

Shane Rozeveld on October 2, 2012

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Jonathan! You've hit the nail on the head and I'm happy you understand what I'm trying to communicate. I perceive from your comment that you're somehow involved in leadership which makes me curious: What sort of tangible ways you're carrying out the initiatives (living scripture in a palpable way) you've referenced above?

Great article and I totally agree 100% with what is said.

But, I want to suggest that this can be given another point of view. Why do we have different congregations which sing different songs? It's because each one of us has a unique and independent voice. My wife and I may say the same phrase with the same words from the same sentence [word for word], but how we say it, the accents and tones we use differ tremendously. Even though we have the same feelings for the same statement, our voice differs.

This is the same for every congregation! Each one of us has an incredible voice that sings a tune of celebration to Christ our King: to deny that is to deny a gift that Christ has given each and every one of us.

It's a beautiful diversity to celebrate and a relevant tension to live within.

Disclaimer: I believe Borger would agree with me on this so don't think this is original on any level. I only felt called to point this out.

Shane Rozeveld on January 21, 2013

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Colin! Thanks for your intuitive response. I'm always amazed at certain perspectives we have in our faith communities (ie: the coaching experience). But it's also my belief that we're beginning to see a movement towards organic mission: mission localized and internalized by leaders and lay leaders alike. But, as always, ignorance towards issues is no reason to go on denying them. So thank you for your agreement and we'd love to hear more success stories of your and others work. Grace and peace.

Shane Rozeveld on November 18, 2012

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thanks so much for the support! One of the many challenges of ministry is breaking traditional models or understanding of church, and what you've said above tells me you understand how to approach the issue. Thanks again! 

Great article, Ray! I would also question what we're doing outside of our "everyday youth jobs"? This is a challenge I've been forcing myself to do recently because it's so easy to get sucked into doing "youth work". Doing something volunteer without payment (the "service" work we always preach about) is different than leading a Bible study or an event or a praise team or a service project we're being paid to be present for. True volunteer time without your youth by your side I think is also a valuable tool for teaching, leading, and instructing students. The best teachers I learned from were mentors who told life stories, not metaphorical scenarios. 

Love the article!

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