When people think about youth group they typically think of a more energetic church service. It’s often the same formula everywhere you go: food, games, contemporary worship music (of some form), teaching, and small groups. Instructional approaches to youth ministry are the primary resourced method of communicating the gospel to teenagers. However, there are so many more ways of communicating the good news of Christ to our young people (and adults when you think about it). There are actually five main approaches:
1. Instructional (understanding/application)
2. Interpretative (narrative/meaning)
3. Liberation (awareness/action)
4. Community of Faith (inculturation/apprentice)
5. Contemplative (presence/attention)
Each of these approaches lends itself to different methods and strategies. As stated earlier, the instructional approach to youth ministry is the most common. However, that means it is the most worn out. Think about it — teenagers are constantly in instructional situations.
Between school, sports, music groups, and even church they probably spend upwards of 30+ hours a week in instructional situations. Yet we all know that not all people learn best in those ways, hence the importance of engaging different approaches to youth ministry. This is where creativity, Sunday School, and The Refuge come into play. Our youth actually experience all five approaches and ways of engaging in faith.
Over the next five weeks we are going to be doing a blog series on the five approaches of youth ministry and how our Youth Ministry here at FUMCFW engages and plans to better engage all five. Our hope for you is that it helps expand and redefine what youth ministry is and what role our church and you play in the faith development of our teenagers.
Grace and Peace,