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The Youth Ministry Paradigm: Can a House of Cards Survive the Storm?
Matthew 7:24-27 (NCV) 24 “Everyone who hears [Jesus’] words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock. 26 Everyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house, and it fell with a big crash.”
It is raining in youth ministry. The floods are here, and the wind is blowing, that much is true. Although it should not be a surprise, since Jesus states it as a fact. What remains to be seen is whether the “house” we call youth ministry will come down with a big crash or withstand the storm.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the house we have built—and even if we need the house at all. We do need youth ministry. Youth ministry itself is not a failure; it is not a colossal mistake by the body of Christ. However, we have a foundation issue, not just within youth ministry but within the entire church. We have built a proverbial house of cards that can’t stand to go any higher unless we start asking some honest, foundational, and hard questions.
My hope with this book is to have you take a step back and ask these questions of yourself and the ministry you serve in. I don’t want you to do ministry my way; I want you to seek God with all you have, be open to His leading, and do ministry His way.
The current youth ministry paradigm is made up of many different cards and looks a bit different for every youth worker or leader. In the following pages, I give you the cards of my own paradigm house. You likely have some of the same cards, and perhaps have some that I don’t. The current youth ministry paradigm has slowly shifted from its original foundation and onto the sand. We have moved from the rock of Christ to something we have created ourselves.
Colossians 2:8 (NIV) See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
We in the church have created our own paradigm, and it is taking us captive. Scripture and God need to be the foundation of our ministries, not the “traditions of men.” I am excited to start this journey with you of identifying the paradigm, challenging it through the truth of God’s word, and shift back to the rock as our foundation.
8 Chapters, 108 pgs.
© 2012 by Brian Seidel. All Right Reserved.
Published by In His Grip Publishing in the United States of America
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