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Lately, “The Future of Youth Ministry” is a hot topic. It seems like everybody has chimed in with their views of the future. I’m no futurist; I tend to lead my ministry day-to-day not too concerned with all the “what if’s?” that so many in our industry seem borderline obsessed with. But Josh insisted we tackle this issue and share our predictions. So, from a non-futurist here are a few predictions about what youth ministry might look like a few years down the road:

It Will Probably Be Less Professional: I think the trend of churches employing full-time paid youth professionals who focus on virtually nothing else will likely wane somewhat.

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Help Students Pursue
God-Honoring Sexuality

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Studies indicate that people are giving less, and when they give, they give to many places not just their local church. Decreased church budgets could force many churches to rely less on paid pros and more on laity to lead their youth ministries.

It Will Probably Be More Multi-generational. More and more youth workers are waking up to the reality that we do harm to students long-term faith development and involvement in church when we purposely isolate them from the rest of the congregation. I don’t believe a completely multi-generational approach is the answer….but youth ministries that look for ways to take steps toward integrating….rubbing shoulders with…the rest of the church body will probably become the norm.

The Stuff That Has Always Worked Will Still Work! At the end of the day, youth ministry at it’s best has been about adults who love Jesus spending time with teenagers in hopes that teenagers will in turn share the good news of Jesus with their friends.

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Help Students Pursue
God-Honoring Sexuality

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Call it any trendy word you want: Relational, incarnational, missional; it’s always been the backbone of healthy youth ministry, and it always will be.

Of course I could be totally wrong….I’m no futurist, I’m just a schmuck that likes teenagers!

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