The Pursuit of Youth Ministry

PursuitOfYouthMinistry

This graphic is basically the outline for my "Introduction to Youth and Family Ministry" course at Crown College this fall.  It's a work in progress (and the 50+ students who took the course last year have helped me improve it a bit for this year)… and I'm fairly happy with this current diagram.  What do you think? 

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

3 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Youth Ministry

  1. Thanks for the solid comment, Chris. I’m right with you.
    Yes- integration is a huge issue for me. We spend a lot of time early on in the class on the biblical foundations for “youth” ministry— and we discover that the Bible stresses the integration of generations… and also the leadership and responsibility of each generation (younger, older, middle, etc). In terms of “how” this happens, I leave a lot of open room for the students to explore this… as their contexts and giftings and networks will each be so different from one another. The students’ job in the class is to start applying personally all the learning.
    Chris, why don’t you fly down here and teach one of the classes for me!?!

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  2. Looks awesome Ken. I wish you were my teacher back in the day. I imagine it’s included in there somewhere but I feel the biggest surprise to me getting into youth ministry and the thing that I am learning now far too late is how to integrate youth within the church. THINK ORANGE is probably where that is covered in your diagram.
    The focus when I was studying youth was all on the youth ministry, not the church. But I believe, more now than ever before, that isolated youth ministry is more dangerous than helpful in the long run. Youth Pastors must be equipped to lead the whole church so that it is a place where youth feel accepted, valued, and fully integrated into the whole. For far too many years I was focussed on having a good youth ministry. I’m amazed how many of those kids never came to back to church after they graduated. I hope future youth leaders realize the importance of the whole body and find ways to creatively and effectively integrate the youth as a vital part of the whole. As i talk to youth pastors who left ministry, one of the main reasons is their personal issues with church and how it stiffens youth ministry. There must be some training on how to work with the larger church and allow youth to be a integral part of the whole body.
    There’s a few initial thoughts. Love what you got there! It’s a far more holistic approach to youth ministry.
    Take care friend,
    Chris

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