As is mentioned on occasion here @ ATP, i am not only an aspiring scholar, but also a youth pastor (middle school). Occasionally as i surf the internets & theological blogs the topic of youth ministry/pastor comes up. When it does, it is always derisive in nature. For example, here is the most recent offering i have encountered, via Ben’s twitter.
Now, if you took the time to watch that video, don’t worry, I am not defending it. Probably not the best idea in the world. Few sensible, theologically minded people would disagree with this being a poor idea. That isn’t my issue. Nor am I unhappy with Ben Myers; he was just the most recent example i have encountered.
My problem is that discourse on theological blogs about youth ministry/pastors are limited to shooting these fish in their barrels. Anyone can expose these tacky approaches for what they are, but can anyone actually do some constructive thought here? If anyone else works with youth, then I am sure you’ll agree with me that in America at least, these people need both loving & theologically competent shepherds. To sound like an immature youth pastor, their lives often suck, more so than adults often. I hope that in the future i encounter bloggers who care about more than mocking other’s approaches, and actually helping youth leaders think theologically. Of course, to do that one might have to go beyond making fun of youth ministries & their leaders, and instead get to know them & do some actual theological work.
End of Rant.