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A New Kind of Youth Ministry Paperback – December 3, 2006
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From the Back Cover
A New Kind of Youth Ministrychallenges you to take a fresh look at your ministry through the concept of 'reculturing'---the act of changing the way things are done or simply creating a culture of change. No fly-bynight, change-for-the-sake-of-change concept, it's about altering our paradigms for the sake of life change.
About the Author
Chris Folmsbee has served as a youth pastor for nearly 15 years, and now serves as a volunteer youth worker in his local church. He currently leads Barefoot Ministries, a youth ministry training and publishing company located in Kansas City, and is on staff with Youthfront. Chris is the author of several books including his most recent, Story, Signs, and Sacred Rhythms: A Narrative Approach to Youth Ministry. He lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with his wife, Gina, and their three children, Megan, Drew, and Luke.
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Top customer reviews
- some quite practical points that should be taken on board and would be really helpful - and look no ministry is perfect – all could be done better - that’s life!
- Some good honest thoughts about general faults of youth ministry etc
- I like how he (Chris) talks about getting along side people etc – the people focus/love
Some real concerns about this book
- I think he (Chris) spends too much time running down what has been done in the past in youth ministry by others etc or what he has done in the past as a basis for promoting his “new way” – helps to sell the book
- He generalises too much about other ministries to promote his reculturing/new way presentation – that is the Brian Mclaren style
- He outs those who criticise him to justify his case
- He is a little too ”ME” centric – actually that might be my biggest criticism – far too many ‘I’,’ME’, ‘MY’ words
- Full of the emergent/post modern buzzwords like "spiritual transformation" - but what does he really mean scripturally?
- Not enough scripture at all – this is how ministries ultimately move away from God over years
Example: he never uses the word “Cross” (of Christ) once in the book – But he talks of people purging themselves of sin – well how do you purge yourself of sin – the bible tells us how but Chris doesn’t!
So it gets a very low mark for me because the inadequacies of the book strongly outway the good
Re-culturing means a new: understanding of culture, students, and YM, methodology, teaching, leadership, discipleship, evangelism, missions, and weekly programs. Essentially a re-culturing means a YM make over. Changes happen over time. It is a gradual process. In the Church world, change is a very-very slow process. Also, people in Church do not like change or to be taught a new way. Chris is pioneering into a new way of doing youth ministry. Now, Youth workers, pastors, parents, students, and church people need to catch up with him.
Chris gives great practical principles that one can import into YM, but he does not a give a solid theological foundation to argue for and why there needs to be a re-culturation. I would have loved to see a theological chapter with applicable comments speaking to the new way of reculturing YM.
The traditionalists, who do not like to deviate from their way, may give hard resistance to Chris's new way. It appeared Chris was already expecting the resistance. Throughout the book, Chris kept re-clarifying himself so the "traditionalist" would not miss interpret him. Chris would make a wonderful claim, and in the next paragraph would start with: I am not suggesting that..... I noticed Chris was trying too hard to please both his advocates and aggressors. Chris would make a profound statement and follow the statement with: I did not mean this or I am not suggesting this. If people do not like it, let them, and not you, deal with it.
I love the missional chapter of this book. YM needs to move from mission trips to living missionally. We need to be going global, but also we need to be going local. We need to be God's people bringing our local communities reconciliation and restoration. We need stop talking about the Gospel, and start walking out the gospel. Living missionally makes being a follower of Christ very practical and experiential. A student does not need to go to Africa in order to be a part of missionary work. In fact, a student can go down the street to do mission work, by simply being the Gospel to all people. Also, Chris gives wonderful charts, real life examples, resources, and tangible tool for youth workers who want to incorporate the ideas of living missionally.
There needed to be a chapter devoted to reculturing parents. If a youth minister begins to import the ideologies reculturation in their youth ministry, parents are going to freak out if they are not prepared adequately. Parents need to be recultured in addition to YM. Parents are going to start to wonder why youth group does not have all of the fun power point games with prizes anymore? Seemingly, if one is going to begin to reculture their youth ministry, the church at large and parents also need to be on board with the recutlturation process. There is nothing worst then having a parent who is feeling out of the loop to what is happening in the YM. While considering how the YM needs to be re-cultured, one needs to consider how the parent needs to be re-cultured so they can understand, support, and encourage the YM in the new way. With a new way of YM, means a new way to communicating, connecting, and relating to parents.
I give Chris's book two thumbs up! Chris not only coined language to the new way of YM, but illustrated how to orchestrate a new way of YM. I believe Chris has dropped a bomb on the YM world and now the YM world needs ask themselves: am I going to react or embrace this new way of doing YM. Chris's method is not a model, but practical principles that aim at the core needs of today's students. It is up to the youth minister to contextually, theologically, and practically develop a plan suited to his or her youth ministry that can begin to execute the new way.