Thursday, March 22, 2007

Youth Ministry Best Practices

Five Themes of Faith Formation

1. Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit, through personal, trusted relationships, often in our own homes.
2. The church is a living partnership between the ministry of the congregation and the ministry of the home.
3. Where Christ is present in faith, home is church too!
4. Faith is caught, not taught.
5. If we want spiritual children and youth, we need spiritual adults/parents.

Four Keys

Parents can double the probability that their youth will build a life of faith in Christ by establishing a home where faith is freely shared and related to the everyday circumstances of family life through the practice of the 4 Keys:
1. Caring Conversations
2. Family Prayers and Devotions
3. Rituals and Traditions
4. Acts of Service (Based on Search Institute's "Effective Education Study", Family Strengths research at U. of NE and Dr. David Anderson's study of Luther and Lutheran practice.)

Triple A Road Servants

Triple A Road Servants are those people who seek to live the life of a disciple by being
Authentic, Available and Affirming with all people, especially youth.

Eight Faith Factors

Dr. Roland Martinson has identified eight key factors or "best practices" found in congregations where youth developed a deeply owned faith and remained involved in a faith community following high school graduation:

1. Faith deeply integrated into family identity and practice
2. Six to eight adult mentors of faith, in addition to parents (New numbers as of 8/04)
3. Apprenticed early into leadership in their church
4. Engaging, meaningful church experience in which youth are valued
5. Excellent senior high/young adult ministry
6. Encouraged by strong Christian friends – peer ministry
7. Support within an engaging Christian community during personal crisis
8. Three or more months of service in the name of Jesus Christ.

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