Saturday, March 17, 2007

Reculturing: The Process of Rebuilding the Underlying Culture of Youth Ministry

(painting by: Nick Wilson)

I am currently working towards reculturing the OCBC Youth Group; and one place I am beginning is by evaluating the purposed of our Wed. Night lessons/meetings besides discovering what it means to be a disciple. below is both my church newsletter article on my thoughts followed by the rough draft of a Mission Plan (more than a mission statement but less than a thesis:)) please feel free to leave me any of your thoughts and feedback.. please remember this is a rough draft of a long process, any observations and opinions WILL be taken into consideration. thanx, justin.

The Ascent: Renaming Wed. Night Youth

We have recently renamed the Wed. night discipleship portion of our Youth group. Understand that our purpose statement and understanding of this new direction are still being discussed and prayed about and are subject to tweaks and changes. The renaming of Wed. night came about as a result of observation of this specific youth group, their current role in the church and community around them, as well as my own personal philosophy of Youth Ministry (as well as ministry in general).

I encourage everyone to take time to walk up to the youth room and see The Ascent’s thematic painting that was done by Nick Wilson. It captures visually what we are trying to accomplish practically. The name the ascent incorporates the points listed below as well as a metaphor for all that we want to accomplish.

I believe that each person is a unique individual, with unique gifts and talents given to us by God. The purpose of our life journey, in my opinion, is to become the person into whom God is making each of us. We will all look different from each other, but our goal should be to become the person that God is training us to be. To become the disciples that he is calling us to be!

The picture of the ascent is of 2 people climbing a mountain. Their goal is to reach the peak. At the apex lies the person the person into whom God is making the climber; the plan that God has for that journeyman. Climbing this mountain is much like climbing Mt. Everest… It is not an easy goal, but the journey and experience is well worth the trouble. Many are asked why they would do something as dangerous as try to reach the peak of Everest. The answer is for the Experience!

It is a connection with nature, with a team, and with a purpose that are the driving factors for these individuals. In the same way, it is important that the youth find points of connection with other Christians as well as with the Biblical story. The scripture reference chosen (Gen. 1:1-Today) refers to the fact that the story that God is writing about humanity and His works within the world is not over. Indeed, it is still being written in our lives today. The important part is to find (and construct) the points at which the biblical story and our personal stories intersect.

In the picture we see the first climber leaning back and offering a hand to the second climber. This represents the importance and responsibility of Community. It takes an entire team to reach the apex. It takes teamwork, and everyone pulling their own weight! It takes total Commitment from an individual and the community as a whole if all, or even one is to reach the lofty goal set before them. Each person is a portion of the whole, a part of the body. They must work together, encouraging and helping one another in order for the goal to become obtainable.

These are just some of the thoughts going into the Overall theme of The Ascent. Our mission in progress is found below. Notice that these are only the goals that are being set. The unstated question is, “How do we accomplish all of this?” Well… we come together as pilgrims on a journey each Wed. night and attempt to answer that question! Enjoy, and feedback is appreciated!

Peace and Love,


The Ascent



Purpose Statement:

To help the youth on their journey/ascent into becoming the unique and responsible disciples/individuals into whom Christ is making them. This happens through focusing on:

1) Connections

· Young adults and teenagers today learn best through making connections and through experience. They are Experience Gatherers!

· It is important that the OCBC Youth Group be experienced based in learning-creating experiences in a safe and welcoming atmosphere.

· It is also important that the youth share their individual experiences with the group as a whole. One way to gather experience is through the experiences of others.

· Story is important! It is vital that the youth for connections with the overall story of the Bible, as well as the individual stories and teachings.

2) Community

· It is Vital that the OCBC Youth Group be seen and act as a responsible Christian Community!

· This is a smaller community within the larger community of the entire church (Olive Chapel), within the even larger community of the worldwide Church (The Overall, worldwide body of Christ)

· In this aspect, the youth should act together to understand the purpose of community, and to take seriously the responsibilities of their individual role in that community.

3) Commitment

· The Youth Group must learn the reality of being a disciple. This includes:

o Understanding the importance of spiritual growth.

o Understanding their responsibility and relationship to the world around them.

· The youth have the right to know that true discipleship is not easy; it requires commitment even in the difficult times.

· The youth must understand that at times Christ calls us to do things that seem impossible or at odds with the wishes of those around us, however, Part of being a disciple is following one’s own convictions no matter the cost.

· In order to become the person into whom Christ is trying to make them into, they must be devoted to their personal well-being, as well as the well-being of those in the community around them.

· The youth need to understand the meaning and level of sacrifice true disciples are called to make

1 comment:

  1. very nice justin, very nice!!!!

    an anonymous person (: