Radically local but intentionally global
Our understanding of mission within youth ministry should be highly contextualized at the local level but also open to learning from the global context. The challenge within this approach is to practice co-mission: seeing ourselves as called to share what we have with others but also ready to receive what others have to share and teach us (both in local and global contexts). Locally this means that youth ministry needs to work cooperatively with partners already “on the ground” in our contexts who know which needs need to be met. Youth workers will also need to widen their focus to the needs of youth worldwide and to resist the current paradigm in which the majority of youth ministry resources are serving a very small percentage of the world’s youth. Youth workers will have to consider how the church is called to respond in partnership with the growing segment of underserved or un-served youth populations.
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.