“The truth is that all adults are youth. What’s the difference? We adults just have more wrinkles.”
The first time I heard those words was about fifteen years ago, in seminary. I was a dual MDiv/M.A. student, and at the time, I was trying to answer a question: what makes youth ministry distinctive from other sectors of vocational ministry?
As 2020 draws to a close, the Youth Ministry Institute (YMI) has asked some other questions:
“What does happiness look like for young people?”
“How can we help youth talk about anti-racism?”
“How do we minister from a place of affirmation, love, and radical welcome for all people?
“What do youth actually need during a pandemic?”
In this unprecedented time, YMI has endeavored to answer these questions, and many more.
2020 has been a year that has turned conventional thinking upside down, leaving many in ministry with far more questions than answers. What I have found in youth ministry affirms what I learned years ago: the resources for youth are what we adults need, too. It is an honor to be involved in work that matters, for people of all ages.
The YMI website features a public discussion forum. Feel free to register on the site so that, as we continue to ask good questions, both of the world, and of practitioners worldwide, free to join the conversation. What questions do you hold in this time? How might we be with you in the asking?
Rev. Jill Olds, Director of the Youth Ministry Institute