IASYM Conference

The day at the conference was great, I wish I’d had chance to be there for longer. Jonny Baker has written up the sessions on Redemptionitis and Intergenerational Congregations, they are well worth reading! For me the best part, as ever, was talking to the other delegates and hearing stories from different countries and what’s happening with Youth Ministry there. Spent quite a bit of time with Anglican Advisers from New Zealand and Canada, we were sharing a lot of the same struggles on how to get Churches to genuinely enagage with young people where there is real involvement, listening and opportunity for young people to lead!
In terms of the sessions that I went to, I loved hearing Prof Malan Nel (South Africa) on “Why theology? It is only youth ministry!”
Malan brilliantly argued that theology is vital for Youth Ministry, I’m still processing a lot of the lecture but I hope these couple of quotes give you something to chew on in terms of a definition of youth ministry (I like the fact it is a WHOLE Church one) and a working challenge of what we should be able to do!
“Youth Ministry is an inclusive congregational ministry in which God comes, [through all modes of ministry and with special regard to parents (or their substitutes)] in a differentiated and focussed way to, with and through youth as an integral part of the local faith community and also with and through youth to the world” (Nel 2000:97)
“I would say that people in ministry (full or part time) should be able to reflect upon the ministry with regard to knowledge, insight, competency and attitude as to what we do, why we do it, how we do it, and with what attitude we do what we do” (Nel)