Contemplative Youth Ministry
Contemplative Youth Ministry (Mark Yaconelli 2006)
The idea of being contemplative is that we spend time in prayer, silence, reflection, and listening to God. Yaconelli takes this practice and transfers it to a way of doing ministry. His basic premise is that our ministries should be based on being present to students and listening to them, bases everything upon prayer and discussion, to create environments that help students connect to God, and to look for the direction God is leading you to take your youth ministry.
What I Dislike – We come from different theological beliefs so some of the things are too mystic and based in Catholic tradition.
What I Like – He stresses being present for students and really listening to them. Many times we are anxious because we are unsure of what to do, say, act like, and so we are not present. Many times this stems from the fact that we are not comfortable being alone by ourselves much less other people.
Most adults see church as a way to accomplish: helping kids have good morals, being in positive events, staying away from bad kids, and staying out of trouble. What is missing is having a relationship with God. We want to treat the symptoms and not address their need (62-65).
We can not make people behave or follow Jesus. Once we realize this we can surrender to the one who has the power to change them (75).
Chapter 9 has a great concept for how to build a youth ministry program.
Chapter 10 has great thoughts about staff meetings.
Chapter 11 has great thoughts about how we make youth ministry more contemplative.
Overall the book is an easy read and a great thought book. I am going to take away several concepts from this book.