YOUTH MINISTRY & “Warm is the new Cool” and other innovations explained by #Princeton’s #AbigailRusert

Episode summary (with time stamps) from Reclaimed Leader interview with Abigail Rusert, Director of the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Principal Investigator on the Log College Project grant.

Give us a 30,000-foot view of youth ministry from your perspective.  What are you seeing out there?

  • Abigail shares about the changing landscape of youth ministry and why she believes churches are mistakenly continuing to resource programmatic models of youth ministry that are no longer effective instead of investing in new and innovative approaches. 00:13:00.
  • Jason and Abigail talk about the power and importance of stories of life transformation as a key metric for youth ministry. 00:18:00.

Relationships are still the key to impacting youth.

  • Even with some of the failings of past approaches to youth ministry, the vital importance of relationships is still the heartbeat of ministry to young people. Inviting the whole congregation to be a part of offering relationship to youth is vital to the growing faith of young people today. 00:22:00.

Why it’s crucial for senior leaders to help each person in the congregation see themselves as youth ministers.

  • Abigail shares about the power and the tools senior leaders have at their disposal to share vision with the congregation. Instead of ‘giving the job’ to our youth leaders, senior leaders can help create an environment where all are considered youth ministers together. 00:25:00.

“Warm is the new Cool.” – Growing Young.

  • Abigail reflects on the freedom that warmth over cool gives to congregations of all sizes. It’s not about providing flashy experiences, it’s about creating opportunities for great relationships across the generations of the church. 00:30:00.
  • Abigail shares about the importance of creating sacred spaces for young people while protecting against that being the only strategy for faith formation in young people. 00:35:00.

Call yourself a youth minister.

  • Jason and Abigail reflect on the importance of relationships of love and authenticity and how senior leaders can lead the way by telling stories of how they are a youth minister. 00:39:00.

Why inviting young people to be a part of the design process works.

  • Jesse shares about how Marine View is working to help young people serve and connect in the church ways that are natural for them, instead of creating the feeling of being put on display. Abigail shares about ways to get kids involved by inviting them to shape ministry. 00:42:30.

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