Yesterday was the first meeting of the C3 Conference. It opened with a breakout session, and I chose to attend one focused on youth ministry. A student from Northwest came along with me, and we listened together as five youth ministers from around the country sat on stage, speaking and answering questions. Our student thought the afternoon consisted mostly of a bunch of “hipster pastors” talking about various things.
There were a few gems in the midst of the conversation-most memorably an interesting youth pastor ministering in the hip-hop world of New York City.
The bulk of the time, however, seemed to be taken up with the kind of youth ministry basics and cliches I had hoped we had all learned by now. We need volunteers. I get it. Teenagers need to know Jesus. Agreed and understood loud and clear. We should use social media? Amazing. And apparently being socially relevant is important too.
Youth ministry is more than this. I am sure that the five earnest men on stage knew this. But why don’t we talk about it more? Why don’t we think more deeply? Let’s make a commitment to spend a little less time on random thoughts or even nuts and bolts…and more reflecting on the core. Bring together our practices and philosophies in the best traditions of what we call “practical theology.”