Monday, October 3, 2005

First Modular Course Journal

Today was interesting. Char told me before i left yesterday that i was arrogant. no she was not trying to be mean - mostly just commenting on my preoccupation with doing well in this course and stacking up against the other students or ideas. I guess i would have to agree with her in a sense cause yeah
Anyways i thought i'd journal my way through these modluar courses so as not to lose the ideas that I have been perculating through this class
Essentials of Youth Ministry
Nothing really new was thrown at me today but i have to say a few ideas sparked my interest
#1. Creating ministry as a Safe Place was presented as one of the objectives of youth ministry. Marv Penner said that kids are looking for a safe place and that the world is dangerous. But i find myself wondering are kids really looking for a safe place? is the world really that dangerous or as Penner said more dangerous than it used to be? The question that haunts me is should we be striving for safety in our ministries? I don't know. If safety means acceptance no matter who you are then i guess i would have to say yes. if safety means that we are going to protect or shelter kids from the reality of a sacrifical life with Christ then i think no. Yeah there are alot of hurting kids out there but i'm not sure that we are supposed to be the place where all their problems vanish. But then again if we can't offer somekind of hope for the redemption of kid's messed up lives then what is the point? I am definately going to need to chew on this one abit more.
#2 Marv said that youth culture has nurtured a moralistic therapuetic deism. Interesting term. How did that term come about?
#3 Authenticity. Marv commented that we needed to be authentic with our kids but that that needed to be 'healthy' or in some way restricted. In the last few years of ministry i have found more positive results in being transparent with kids. the idea of restricting that transperancy seems somehow contrived to some sort of end. I realize that i would not share the intimate details intercourse with my wife with my kids but that just seems common sense. Penner seemed to think that we have hold things back from kids about our own strufggles with faith. I'm not sure. He used Eph. 4:29 as a guideline in this area. Of course you have to be careful in what you share but i guess maybe i don't know where he was going with that...
#4 Youth Ministry as a stepping stone
Marv said that he used to be against the idea of using the youth ministry as a stepping stone to the senior pastor job but now he thought maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. Simply becuase you use som many pastoral skills in youth ministry that it would be a beneficial training ground for someone going on to other areas of ministry. I guess in a way i can see that but i still have a problem. It owuld seem to me that youth minsitry is still struggling from a form of illigitimacy* when it is seen as training ground for something else. I would prefer for it to be seen as a calling that requires not only a specific skill set but a clear proficiency in several specific areas of expertise - both practically and conceptually. Really youth ministry is a specialty much in the same way brain surgery is a specialty in medicine. We deal with a specific age range and specific context that makes our work highly speicalized. It also makes me feel pretty good that I might be considered a speicalist compared to a senior pastor but ego is not the point. Sucky youth pastors are the point and i've tons of them in my day.
Today was interesting i caught several attempts at emotional manipulation videos on blow jobs, and pictures on cutting, it was all very slick and I have to say it caught me a few times. I guess this really is an emotional business i am in - i just hope we can get beyond that to some real hard core stuff...
I miss Char and the kids already and yikes it's only monday
john and sarah are really nice
i hope i don't disappoint them cause i probably won't be there much...
till tomorrow...


Jerry said...

Yes, why hide all dangers from kids, when kids can learn how some of the dangers can be put out or handled appropriately, kinda like fire.

People say don't play with fire. I say, 'Put the fire out if you can't make proper use of it.'

By the way, I would love to hear more of this 'moralistic therapeutic deism'.

Incoming... said...

hey yeah jerry good scoop
look that concept comes from Chritian Smith in a book called SOUL SEARCHING: the Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. I read a bit and i'll post once this kinda crystalizes a bit more but very fascinating concept...