Something from nothing, that’s the way a lot of people approach student ministry. Programs and events assume that students come to them as a blank slate. When you think about it, nothing could be farther from the truth. Teenagers are a cornucopia of experiences that summarize their family, friends, school, faith, activities, music tastes, and so on.
The picture above from the Cargo Collective is a Prophet Moth made from random discarded items. This more accurately represents youth ministry. The artist sees what is there and assembles it in a way that can be more easily appreciated. To some youth workers, the factory model (also a popular educational model) is more appealing. They assemble the same parts to make the same product and never dive in to the differences of individual young adults.
No ministry is this black and white of course. We all work within the spectrum between these two extremes. But let’s not forget that we make art. My new book releases in less than a month. I titled it Masterpiece: The Art of Discipling Youth. It’s about art and discipleship and adolescents. This is only one paradigm that it explores. My hope in writing was that I could give youth workers a nudge on the spectrum. Because I’m committed to this “nudge” I’ll be posting snippets from the ideas in the work. Check back for more and please take a look at the book when it releases.