Dr. Andrew Root delivers a lecture entitled, "Youth Ministry in an Era of Over-Parenting: Moving from the Thing to the Story."
Lecture synopsis: Youth workers know what it is to watch parents and youth participate in multiple other activities. Most families have limited time and space for youth ministry activities or youth group. Often parent(s) (and youth) express desire to participate, but say they have no time. A parent might even say, "Sorry we haven't gotten to youth group in the last six months, it's just that gymnastics is kind of her thing, it's really who she is." This can be frustrating for youth workers and some respond by contending that youth ministry needs to up the commitment level and move higher up the ranking of things. In this presentation we'll explore together why this approach can't work because the decisions parents and young people make exist inside very deep conceptions of what makes for a good life. In a time of limited time and unlimited options, youth ministry can't - and shouldn't - compete in ranking of important activities. Youth ministry should not be just another thing (like basketball, violin, or debate club). Instead, we should turn toward story to re-imagine what you ministry can be for. Dr. Root is Professor and Carrie Olson Baalson Chair of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary.