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Youth Ministry Is Being Reshaped by These 10 Important Trends

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My friend Jim Candy wrote a fantastic, thought-provoking post about the future of youth ministry. With his permission, I’m reposting it here, from the parenteen blog.

Ten Trends Are Reshaping Youth Ministry

What will youth ministry look like in the years to come?

More studies of young people and their faith exist today than every before. Despite this wealth of information, our methods haven’t significantly changed since contemporary youth ministry began in the 1950s and ’60s. That will change in the coming years.

Here’s my best shot at how youth ministry is morphing:

10 Important Trends Reshaping Youth Ministry

1. “Missional Communities” are changing youth ministry relationships.

A movement is emerging in churches large and small across the U.S. It started in the U.K. as the church was forced to learn new strategies in an increasingly post-Christian culture. “Extended-family”-type groups of 20 to 70 people are emerging in churches with a very clear outward mission. Kids are part of this movement!

2. Intergenerational education programs for senior pastors are emerging.

Future senior pastors will increasingly be expected to understand the dynamics of today’s intergenerational movement. Seminaries and other entities will offer opportunities for senior pastors to be immersed in it.

3. Sunday morning programs are becoming history.

Congregations will become increasingly dissatisfied with the separation between adults and youth at services. Worship services will change to accommodate younger people. Otherwise, congregations will disappear.

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Mark Oestreicher is a 30-year veteran of youth ministry, and the former President of Youth Specialties. Marko has written or contributed to more than 50 books, including the much-talked-about Youth Ministry 3.0. Marko is a speaker, author, consultant, and leads the Youth Ministry Coaching Program.