Sustainable Young Adult Ministry: Making It Work, Making It Last
:Young adult ministry scares us. Young adults seem like the elusive Holy Grail demographic in Christian ministry. We often treat them like another species, with an inscrutable culture all their own. To have a thriving ministry to young adults,...
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:Young adult ministry scares us. Young adults seem like the elusive Holy Grail demographic in Christian ministry. We often treat them like another species, with an inscrutable culture all their own. To have a thriving ministry to young adults, we're told, we'll need to be up-to-date on all the latest trends. We'll need to change up our worship style. We'll need to make programs. But what if young adult ministry isn't actually as enigmatic as we've been led to believe? What if it actually looks an awful lot like ... faithful Christian ministry? Scott Pontier and Mark DeVries know firsthand the challenges of young adult ministry. In Sustainable Young Adult Ministry, they explore six common mistakes churches make in their efforts to reach this demographic-mistakes they themselves have made-and offer six paradoxes that upend our presuppositions and return us to a simpler, more biblical ministry model. Full of practical advice and complete with a wealth of additional resources, this book offers a fresh perspective on young adult ministry that is grounded in long ministry experience and in the timeless gospel of Jesus.
Mark DeVries (M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary) is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects, a consulting team that assists churches in building sustainable youth ministries (www.ymarchitects.com). DeVries has served since 1986 as associate pastor for youth and their families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He has trained youth workers on five continents and has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and seminaries.
DeVries is the author of Family-Based Youth Ministry,True Love Waits, Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn't Last and What Your Church Can Do About It and co-author of The Most Important Year in a Woman's Life/The Most Important Year in a Man's Life, and he has been a contributing writer for Josh McDowell's Youth Ministry Handbook, Starting Right and Reaching a Generation for Christ. In addition, his articles and reviews have been published in a variety of journals and magazines. He and his wife, Susan, have four grown children.
Scott Pontier is a senior consultant at Ministry Architects, a consulting team that helps churches and ministry organizations build sustainable ministries. He is also the lead pastor of Jamestown Harbor Church, a multi-site church in western Michigan.
- 1. How Do You Solve A Problem Like Young Adults? A Ruthlessly Honest Snapshot Of The State Of Today's Young Adult Ministry
- 2. Mistake #1: Learn About Young Adults
- 3. Mistake #2: Change The Worship Style
- 4. Mistake #3: Expect The Youth Director To Do It
- 5. Mistake #4: Start By Creating A Young Adult Program
- 6. Mistake #5: Wait Until They're Ready
- 7. Mistake #6: Give Up Too Soon
- 8. Beyond Fixing
- 9. Paradox #1: Succeed By Being Willing To Fail
- 10. Paradox #2: Focus On Young Adults By Taking The Focus Off Young Adults
- 11. Paradox #3: Reach Young People By Gathering More Old People
- 12. Paradox #4: Reach One Young Adult At A Time Through A System To Reach Them All
- 13. Paradox #5: Respond To Lack Of Commitment By Asking For More
- 14. Paradox #6: Attract Young Adults To Your Church By Sending Them Away
- 15. I Don't Know . . . Yet. Practicing The Long Obedience
- 16. Failure Isn't An Option—it's A Certainty
- Discussion Questions
- Appendix: The Young Adult Ministry Roadmap
- Additional Resources