Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus (Youth Specialties) Hardcover – April 30, 2006
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From the Back Cover
- Kara Powell, Ph.D., executive director, Center for Youth Ministry and Family Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary
Mark invites readers to be encountered by the presence of Jesus who is always near. This book is transparent about the challenges that churches and families face as they desire to be effective in youth ministry. The book is filled with the honest stories of different kinds of youth ministries representing the breadth of Christianity in the United States. I heartily endorse Contemplative Youth Ministry as a rich encounter with the souls of youth and adults whose
lives have been transformed by our very present God.
- Bill Kees, director of youth ministries, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Mark Yaconelli not only reminds us of some of the long-forgotten pathways of faith, he shares with us how it actually looks when men and women who love God practice it with young people. I especially appreciate Mark's optimism in his perspective of today's kids, for his insights are grounded in God's view of them.
- Chap Clark, Ph.D., associate professor of youth, family, and culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
Mark Yaconelli was experimenting with contemplative youth ministry practices before contemplative youth ministry practices became cool. This book has about it the unique air of authenticity. He shares with us in these pages his own journey as a youth worker who actually believes that God's still small voice speaks louder than the roaring windstorm of our busy youth ministry calendars. It's a book about creating for our students places of silence and opening up spaces for God to speak.
- Duffy Robbins, professor of youth ministry, Eastern University; author of Enjoy the Silence and This Way to Youth Ministry
Mark Yaconelli has emerged as one of youth ministry's most provocative âvoices in the wilderness,' calling us back to our theological taproots: The contemplative practices that bind our lives to the life of Christ. If Mark's research has taught us anything, it's that these practices do not cause youth ministry to take fl ight into a spiritual never-never land; rather they anchor young people--and their churches--in the fertile soil of Christian tradition, in the nitty-gritty of daily life, and in the explosive transformation that awaits us when we wait upon God.
- Kenda Creasy Dean, parent, pastor, and professor of youth, Princeton Theological Seminary; author of Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0310267773
- ISBN-13 : 978-0310267775
- Dimensions : 6.26 x 0.87 x 9.37 inches
- Publisher : Zondervan; 1st Edition (April 30, 2006)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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One of the strengths of the book would be his testimony at the beginning of the book in which he describes himself as being program driven and success seeking. He then recounts his transformation to a place where he ministers out of love instead of anxiety. I felt that I could relate.
The part that I got the most from was when he called us to be "fully present" to the individual youths. He made me realise how often I've only given someone half of my attention. His challenge to me to slow down and give a youth my full attention and listening ears is much appreciated.
I felt the book had a couple of weaknesses that made me give this otherwise unique book only three stars. First of all, he fails to ground his (what are for many) new and somewhat radical ideas in scripture. With the exception of the odd verse, he bases his ideas more in church history than in scripture. Not to say that I think that his ideas are unbiblical; for at least the most part they are not. But, when calling the church to fundamentally change how we do things, we want a surer guide then a few testimonies and a "this is how Ignatius Loyola would have done it". Often I thought that he had a good idea which made me think of different texts of scripture, but he failed to ever interact with them. I felt that this decreased the potential power of the book.
The second weakness I felt the book had was the somewhat negative tone towards preaching or what he called "word heavy youth ministry". Preaching is very uncool in today's post-modern era where authority is downplayed. There is a general shift away from preaching and teaching and I feel like this book is affected by that wave of thinking. The author encouraged the exercise of meditating on scripture together and then sharing what each person felt that the text was saying. What the author failed to teach us was what to do when some outlandish, nut-job or even heretical ideas are being shared. How do we bring correction and instruction into a moment like that? Is there really no value at all in having a gifted teacher authoritatively say, "here is the text, let me explain what it means and how to apply it to your lives"? The gospel needs to be preached and not just reflected in the way we live.
Also, the author never uses the term "prophetic", but what he describes in some areas could be termed "prophetic youth ministry". Hearing what God is saying and acting on it is a prophetic action. Though this is unfortunately terribly under lived among us, I felt a desire to say during the book, "There are other types of prayer we can engage in to make effective youth ministry. What about the "loud crying and tears", what about the intercession? We need to do more than just listen to what God is doing; we also need to pray things into being."