Friday, June 09, 2006

emerging youth ministry

these are the thoughts and ideas I gathered from the emerging youth ministry session with Tony Jones

in the beginning
Or at least in our beginning, the culture that we are emerging from has been deeply influenced by foundationalism. This is the philosophy of DesCartes – I think, therefore I am. As I understand it, this is a system of beliefs that relies on a foundation. For instance, fundamentalist Christians believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Their belief system is based on this foundation. You will find a foundation in many forms of Christianity including liberal, universalist, liberation, etc.

The problem with having a foundation, is that when it comes under fire based on new knowledge or differing opinions or whatever, it often has to be to be propped up. When cracks develop in the foundation, the whole belief structure becomes unstable.

Tony feels that people actually know things in a web that encompasses experience, belief & faith is continues to grow. The picture he drew looked kind of like a neural network. So instead of thinking of our system of beliefs as based on a foundation, we really ought to think of our system of beliefs as a neural network that we build on over time based on our experiences, the knowledge we acquire and the faith we exercise. "We’re all interpretive by nature – we can’t know anything objectively."

in practice
Tony and others in the group gave several examples of interacting with youth out of this context:

lexio devino (divine reading) more info @ The Sacred Way by Tony Jones (book)

praying the labyrinth @

inhabiting the biblical narrative @

other resources
- interesting images, stories, ideas about Jesus @
- youth worker resources at youth specialties @
- journal of student ministries (magazine) @
- sacred space @
- Contemplative Ministry by Mark Yaconelli (book)
- Postmodern Youth Ministry by Tony Jones (book)

No comments: