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Postmodern Youth Ministry Paperback – April 29, 2001
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From the Back Cover
The rules have changed. Everything you believe is suspect. The world is up for grabs. Welcome to the emerging postmodern culture. A "free zone" of rapid change that places high value on community, authenticity, and even God--but has little interest in modern, Western-tinged Christianity. Postmodern Youth Ministry addresses these enormous philosophical shifts and shows how they're affecting teenagers.
About the Author
Tony Jones (M.Div., Ph.D.) is a theologian, professor, and writer. Currently, he serves as theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis, and teaches in the doctor of ministry program at Fuller Theologian Seminary. Tony has written ten books on Christian ministry, spirituality, prayer, and new church movements.
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So many books are stuck in formulas A + B = Great Youth Minstries, Tony goes beyond formulas and explains the landscape. Tony is a tremendous teacher, and yet very humble with the knowledge he has gained over years of youth ministry experience.
I recommend this book to followers of Christ both young and old, especially those who are trying to figure out what in the world is postmodernism.
One warning, don't come to this book for a guide of how to do youth ministry, Tony won't give it to you. What Tony will give you is the knowledge and the tools to figure out what to do in your area and with your students. This is a solid book.
4 Stars for a well written book, not so many starts for a not so good theological movement.
The format of the book lends itself to interesting reading. In addition to his own writing, he's invited his peers to comment on his work and has included it right in the text of the book. This allows for a "discussion" to occur within the book. While most of the comments affirm Jones' writing, some openly disagree. Even when the commentor agrees, often their comment brings out a point more fully or asks a follow-up question that is well worth pondering.
All in all, a highly recommended book for anyone interested in Youth Ministry.
That is a hard thing and it means our job, as youth pastors, is that much more difficult. In the post-modern, there can no longer be a cookie cutter approch to ministry. This diversity has to take place far beyond a regional setting, and even beyond a local setting: what works in Evergreen, Colorado might not work in Boulder or Littleton or Cherry Creek. But even more progressively, what works with one student may very easily not work at all with another.
In the post-modern arena, Tony explains, the Bible has to go beyond providing a general moral message to our students. The post-modern is very much about the individual and in minestering to post-modern youth, we need to be able to show each student how the message of Jesus affects them personally.
Our ministries, therefore, need to be based more on relationships and less on programs. In todays society, young adults are more busy then they have ever been before. At any given time they may have several different options with what they can do with there time. I highly doubt that any of us have the budget or talent in our ministries to compete with the entertainment our students could find elsewhere, so what we have to do is integrate our ministies to be a fun and safe place for students to come to, where at the same time they have contact with an adult that truely cares about them. It is our ability to care for and love on our students that differentiates us from other activities in school or the community. Only once a student knows that we care for them, and when they feel comfortable enough to come to us in their darkest times, with those things they would be too scared to even talk to their parents about... once a student trusts us that much in their life, then we have earned the right to minister Christ to them.
Students today are different. We can look at that one of two ways: we can either progressively and joyously accept and adapt to the change, or we can miss a potentially wonderful oppertunity. I think we all owe it to the kids in our ministry to pick the former of the two. Read this book. Some of the ideas Tony develops can seem complex and difficult to understand, I'll admit even for myself, but I think that we, being called to minister to God's children, need to understand kids as best as we can, so that they, in return, can better understand Him.
May the love and light of God shine through each of you, my friends.