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Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church: Inclusive Congregational, Preparatory, Missional, Strategic (Youth Specialties Academic) [Paperback]

By Wesley Black (Author), Chap Clark (Author) & Malan Nel (Author)
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Item description for Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church: Inclusive Congregational, Preparatory, Missional, Strategic (Youth Specialties Academic) by Wesley Black, Chap Clark & Malan Nel...

In "Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church", solid academic writing is joined with a tone and design that are as compelling to in-the-field, practicing youth workers as to undergraduate and graduate students. The theological assumptions and pragmatic implications regarding the church's mission to youth constitute a meaty theological dish set on a 21st-century platter.

Publishers Description
Join the conversation as experts propose, defend, and explore Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church. In a dialog that often gets downright feisty, four youth ministry academicians delineate their distinct philosophical and ecclesiological views regarding how youth ministry relates to the church at large--and leave a taste of what s profound and what s not in these four typologies: Inclusive congregational (Malan Nel). What happens when a church thoroughly integrates its adolescents, making them full partners in every aspect of congregational life? Preparatory (Wesley Black). Why and how should a church consider its teenagers as disciples-in-training and its youth ministry a school of preparation for future participation in church life? Missional (Chap Clark). What does a church look like, whose youth ministry does not necessarily nurture 'church kids' but is essentially evangelistic? Whose youths and youth workers are considered missionaries? Strategic (Mark Senter). How feasible is it for a youth ministry to become a new church on its own--the youth pastor becoming the pastor, and the new church planted with the blessing of the mother church? In Four View of Your Ministry and the Church, solid academic writing and an inviting tone and design create a compelling text for both in-the-field, practicing youth workers and undergraduates and graduate students."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Pages   163
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 5, 2001
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Series  Youth Specialties Academic  
ISBN  0310234050  
ISBN13  9780310234050  
UPC  025986234058  

Availability  0 units.

More About Wesley Black, Chap Clark & Malan Nel

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Wesley Black (PhD) is professor and department chair of youth and student ministries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Youth Ministry
7Books > Subjects > Teens > Religion & Spirituality > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Ministry Resources > Youth Ministry

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Reviews - What do customers think about Four Views Of Youth Ministry And The Church?

An Academic Review  Nov 17, 2008
A little hectic to read at first, Four Views of Youth Ministry is a thorough look at the "Inclusive Congregational", "Preparatory", "Missional" and "Strategic" approaches to reaching and discipling students. With rebuttals from each viewpoint offered at the end of the sections. This work does what others have not attempted in that it has respected men in youth ministry openly critiquing each other's philosophies. If there were an ESPN for academic youth ministry, this would be a prize fight observed by many wondering spectators eager to see which is the last philosophy standing.


It is clear from the amount of attention shown by each of these men that the message of this text is two-fold; first, the current state of youth ministry is failing this present generation in evangelism and discipleship. Second, the current state of ecclesiology is failing youth ministry by not incorporating younger Christians into the work of the body. The goal of the text is to address these concerns in an intellectual dialogue using scriptural principles and cultural relevance.

There is no question that each of these principles is scripturally based. There is also no doubt that each of these men is spirit-led and has a heart for reaching and equipping students. There was plenty to be challenged with from each of the four philosophies. First, from the "Inclusive congregational" approach, Malan Nel challenges the church to see youth as the church of today gifted for today's service, rather than as a separate body of believers that are disconnected. In an answer to our dilemma about youth ministries not being unified with churches, Nel says "The problem is not our youth ministry, the problem is our church."(2) Nel's challenge for the church to see teens as viable resources for ministry using their gift of teenagers rather than considering that gift a burden is refreshing. Wesley Black presented the "Preparatory" approach to youth ministry. The key challenge I took from this section was to view youth ministry more as an apprenticeship program. The focus here was one preparing teens for future service. There is a definite conflict here with Nel's philosophy and that is the subject of some discussion in the rebuttals, but if taken for face value, one could see that the middle ground on each of these is beneficial to the development of teens and to the growth of the local church. The "Missional" approach, in my opinion is likely the most pure in regards to biblical ministry. The focus that Chap Clark puts on students as a people group is enlightening. The recognition that youth workers are really just reaching another culture is refreshing. The expectation that we should be able to reach them because "they are ours" is out the door. The understanding is that they are their own and they will make spiritual decisions for themselves. Mark Senter contributed the final approach to youth ministry called the "Strategic" approach. The challenging part of this section came on page 118. Senter flies in the face of Mark Yaconelli (Contemplative Youth Ministry) and the like who have called for a more simple approach to student mentoring. Senter says returning to the simplicity of the old days would be much like returning to the one-room schoolhouse in public education." The "Strategic" approach recognizes the multifaceted nature of today's youth ministries and the cultural complexity of today's youth and seeks to unify the body of Christ (young and old) through youth ministry church planting. I was challenged to learn of the number of churches that began as thriving youth ministries.


The idea of allowing four men who are passionate about the way God has led them to do ministry to "duke it out" in a book is a great idea. So in general, I liked the very idea of the book. More specifically, the contributors were honest enough to not pull punches. There are times when the "arguments" seem to get a little heated. It was also extremely insightful that they each shined light on the positive points in each other's philosophies.


First, the "Missional" approach opened my eyes to youth as a people group rather than just an age group. I will apply more of a "Missional" strategy to my youth work the "Inclusive Congregational" model excited me about what teens can be doing in churches today, and the lasting relationships that can be built with people in older generations. I am particularly excited about what that might do for our church's retention rate of graduating seniors. The stark contrast found in many of these four models taught me that there is definitely more than one "right" way to do youth ministry...none of these authors are failures. This contrast also taught me that each of them have strengths and weaknesses and it would behoove any youth leader to squeeze out the flaws and implement the strengths without concern of allegiance to any title on the philosophy or proponent thereof.


Part of the struggle I have had over my eleven year youth ministry career is that I have tried to do three of these four exclusively and it has crashed and burned. I have taken Jesus to the youth culture (Missional) to the extent that the message was watered down and lost. Then I got into ministry teams and was including students in leadership positions (inclusive congregational) before they were ready for such a position. I then pulled them all out and started focusing on discipleship (preparatory) before they would be allowed to serve. The only thing I hadn't tried is starting a youth church and I don't think I will be trying that. Perhaps with more balance I would have been more successful in one or more of these ventures.
To combine the qualities, I would reach youth as a people group rather than an age group; prepare them as they serve in youth / children's ministry for service in the whole body. The next major factor would be to integrate them outside of leadership into as many facets of the corporate body as possible.


Reach parents, Develop a scope and sequence for discipling students, and go to them rather than expecting them to come to me.


I have used this book in the youth classes I teach, the insights are very helpful. Even the questions that are posed are as helpful as the answers given. "Four Views" goes along way in the educational process of youth ministry undergrads by allowing the reader to be a part of the decision making between the different models.

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