Youth Ministry Failure

An interesting conversation/cohort at Emergent Convention this week will be the Failure of Youth Ministry. Somewhat related is the talk of unrealistic expectations from groups like Acquire the Fire. Mr Careaga sticks his neck out.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

1 Comment

  • Heidi says:

    two roads diverged in a wood, and i took the one less travelled by; and that has made all the difference…
    there are two roads that are diverging in youth ministry (and the church in general) and they are going to be farther and farther apart soon. i even fear that it’s gonna get pretty ugly. the divide will become greater soon and churches are going to become polarized on this issue of how to reach their youth. i think groups like atf and 180 are going to start going ‘on the offensive’ accusing those not ‘reprogramming the brain’ of today’s youth with intensive indoctrination and as Andrew Careaga wrote “the spectacular approach to youth ministry” are going to start labelling those who use the more emergent and post-modern, experiential forms of relational youth ministry as liberal and even possibly unbiblical.
    many veteran youth workers are finding that ‘spectacular, spectacular’ is as Andrew Careaga states, a failure – seeing the lives of those released into the real world from event based youth ministries shows a real lack of substance and no depth of relationship with either jesus or the church as a whole.
    we’ve been teaching them to fall in love with our youth programs instead of jesus – and when they head to college they are unable to sustain any spiritual life because they no longer have ‘events’ to get them from mountaintop to mountaintop of spiritual ecstacy and seemingly real spirituality.
    it is exactly that – a failure. i hope the church as a whole hears him.
    reinventing the wheel by just making it bigger and snazzier is all that aft and 180 are really doing, plain and simple the wheel is broke – numbers and hype might make the church boards happy, but they won’t change the lives of the youth in our churches.

Leave a Reply