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Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto of Where We've Been, Where We Are & Where We Need to Go Hardcover – November 25, 2008
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The main premise of his book is this: "The reality [of the effectiveness of youth ministry] that's playing out is somewhat different than what we imagined, hoped, or expected." (pg. 24). He is basically stating in his book: youth ministry as we know it or have known it is generally not "working". Agreed. Even as a rookie I can see this and have seen this since I've been involved in youth ministry for the past 6 years.
For starters, Oestreicher cites the all too often over cited and known facts about adolescence and adolescent development, etc. that have already been beat to death by Chap Clark, et al. But it is still good to hear as a refresher. Moving on to frame his premise, Oestreicher gives a breakdown of the history of youth ministry:
YM 1.0: Proclamation Driven:
This is basically evangelism. Kids need to hear and receive the gospel message. This is what drove youth ministry from the early 1900's until about the 1970's. It was/is about identity. Basically adolescents are trying to figure out who they are; their identity. And he cites "evangelism" and "correction" as key marks of YM 1.0. Think Billy Graham, think preaching, think the message going out to kids, This is YM 1.0.
YM 2.0: Program Driven:
This is a reaction to YM 1.0.Read more ›
In the book, Mark Oestreicher writes about the processes that youth ministry has gone through in general over the decades (youth ministry 1.0 and youth ministry 2.0 - though this isn't a simple "history of youth ministry" book). When Mark gets to youth ministry 3.0 he explains that we youth workers need to be less focused (in fact, not focused at all, almost) on programs (small groups and discipleship) and not even on "forcing" or "manipulating" relationships but, rather, on being "with" our kids (present) - each in his or her own world experience. This presence is more in a sense of communion - not so much as the sacrament (though how he describes it is very sacramental) but more so as community around God and with creation. He moves from this into a missional focus, which I really connected with and think youth can, too. The missional focus is a somewhat "praxis" or "practical" outlook on YM 3.0. In fact, if a sequel to this book were to be written, that's the direction I'd see it going as youth and adults who work with youth would allow God to take them together into mission.
If you're looking for a "how to" at the back of the book, you won't find it. How could you? That would be programming. But with YM3.0 Marko introduces us to a topic we all should be in conversation over - how to reach and "be with" youth today who have a hard time trusting and "being with" us.
My review doesn't do the book justice, and I encourage you to go online and check out a few reviews (many are on Marko's blog site: ysmarko.com)
Adolescence is the period between the dependence of childhood and the independence of adulthood. Psychologists tell us that adolescents are trying to accomplish three tasks during this time: form their identity, develop autonomy (independence), and experience affinity (belonging). In Marko's estimation, Youth Ministry 1.0 (1940s - 1960s) emphasized identity formation through preaching and Youth Ministry 2.0 (1970s - 1990s) emphasized independence through programs. He sees belonging (where and to whom do I belong) as the critical thrust of working with young people today.
This emphasis of Youth Ministry 3.0 is about localization, spending time together, and mission. Localization simply means that a youth group should express its own characteristics based on its community and young people. It does not have to model itself on big successful programs around the country (or even down the street). Spending time together is not just about providing a program each week, but giving meaning and connection to youth's lives throughout the week. Mission gives the group something to rally around and gives direction to everyone. (It is interesting that this approach emphasizes belonging but provides much aid to young people in accomplishing the other two tasks of adolescence as well.)
Youth Ministry 3.0 is intriguing reading that raises a lot of possibilities. I think it is especially suited to group discussion with youth leaders, volunteers, and even students in leadership.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a great starting point for youth leaders, it provides an accurate history of where youth ministry started, how it has evolved, and where it might go.Published 9 months ago by HL
I bought a handful of physical books for people interested in helping out with our youth ministry at church and I bought the Kindle version for myself, because I do not like the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Brian Heninger
I love Marko's honesty, insight, analysis, and curiosity around the macro view of youth ministry. He asks a lot of great questions and doesn't just give you his opinion, but he... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mookie
As a youth leader I feel like this book is an invaluable resource into what the youth of today are looking for in a youth ministry. Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by Rebekah Mulford
A really great book that points youth pastors in the direction they should be going. This youth generation has been missed by many youth workers and this book sets to give steps... Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by SoapyBubbles
Youth Ministry 3.0 is a very insightful book for anyone interested in what is going on with youth culture right now. Read morePublished on September 13, 2011 by Eric Dunn
I am a Youth Ministry Major. This book is required for one of my classes and I am glad it is. This book has already got me thinking about what I want the youth group at the church... Read morePublished on January 25, 2011 by Stephanie
Title: Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto Of Where We've Been, Where We Are, And Where We Need To Go by Mark Oestreicher.
Pages: 155. Read more
This book does a great job of defining the past and present of youth ministry, and I believe that it is right on for the future. Read morePublished on April 30, 2009 by D. Thomas