A group of youth and adults collectively colored a canvas with images of their brokenness and God’s goodness. God was present and worshiped.
Youth and adults explored difficult questions about how God is present in the midst of tragedy.
Youth and adults laughed and played and shared the love of Christ with children.
As youth and adults shared lunch with the homeless in Nashville, Howard (who used to be homeless) said after reflecting, “Yes, I believe there is hope for everyone; just look at me.”
Youth and adults engaged the topic of hope as a part of the Center for Youth Ministry Training’s Theology Together Project‘s pre-immersion event. The group of youth and adults gathered May 8 and 9 to prepare for this summer’s Uncharted Missional Immersion that will take place in Nashville July 6-12.
Uncharted isn’t a summer camp, and neither is it a mission trip. Rather, it’s a third kind of summer experience that takes youth and adults beyond merely serving (like on a mission trip) or listening to a speaker (like at a camp), and involves them together in significant acts of love and mission that provoke discussions, questions, and reflection concerning faith and God.
We believe Uncharted is unique because it’s designed to generate the disorienting dilemmas and big questions that often surface in the context of camps or mission trips, but there is significant space and resourcing given to engage youth and adults at working through these dilemmas via discussion, theological exploration and worship—together. Two additional features make Uncharted distinct from a summer camp or mission trip: First, it’s not a “youth event” but a “together” event; youth and adults participate equally and experience and lead one another. Second, it’s designed to be a jumpstart for imagining and enacting new forms of youth ministry in your congregation. Emphasis and encouragement will be given for youth groups to imagine what taking the experiences and discussions of Uncharted back to their congregations and youth ministries might look like. Rather than just a week, Uncharted is designed to instill a new way of life for individuals and ministries.
The Theology Together project is funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation. CYMT is faithfully seeking ways to train youth and adults to experience and know God’s presence in the world. Learn more at theologytogether.com.
CYMT is proud to announce the expansion of our original initiative into Theology Together 2.0. CYMT aims to develop a curriculum to be used in local congregations and ministries. Taking what we have learned about engaging youth in deep theological reflection during missional experiences and embedding those processes into congregational youth ministries.
"I hope students come away from my courses with the ability to think more deeply, richly and theologically about their youth ministry practice. I think a lot of what happens in youth ministry happens unreflectively and can be deforming to young people, and my courses are intended to give students a theological framework for evaluating and reforming their youth ministry practice."
Of course, I want students to drink deeply from the academic readings, lectures and discussions, and I want them to be informed by the academics. But more than that, I want them to see that youth ministry is a calling of God, an important part of God’s mission in the world, one that should give them pride and evoke humility at the same time.