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Growing Souls: Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry (Youth Specialties) [Hardcover]

By Mark Yaconelli (Author)
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Item description for Growing Souls: Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry (Youth Specialties) by Mark Yaconelli...

Stories and exploration abound in this companion volume to Contemplative Youth Ministry. Hear from the churches that participated on the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project and get an insiders look at the stories that formed this pivotal project.

Publishers Description
The Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project was formed in 1997 to participate in the renewal of youth ministry in the Christian church. Its mission is to foster Christian communities that are attentive to God's presence, discerning of the Spirit and who accompany young people into the way of Jesus. Our mission is founded on the biblical vision of the human person who is created in the image and likeness of God and whose deepest longing is for communion with God and others in love. In response to Christ's invitation to abide in him (John 15:4), we believe that the central purpose of youth ministry is to open the minds and hearts of young persons to an intimate relationship with God in Christ through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. We seek to fulfill our mission through retreats, workshops, training events, written materials, and relationships that promote a contemplative approach to youth discipleship. The contemplative approach to youth ministry is based on a Christian community's commitment to cultivate attentiveness to God's Presence in the lives of young people and is supported in the following seven ways: SABBATH, PRAYER, COVENANT COMMUNITY, ACCOMPANIMENT, DISCERNMENT, HOSPITALITY, AUTHENTIC ACTION.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.6" Height: 0.97"
Weight:   1.13 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2007
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Age  18
Series  Youth Specialties  
ISBN  0310273285  
ISBN13  9780310273288  
UPC  025986273286  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mark Yaconelli

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mark Yaconelli is a writer, speaker, spiritual director, retreat leader, community activist and storyteller. He is the founder and executive director of The Hearth Community, a registered nonprofit that assists cities and charitable agencies in producing personal storytelling projects. Mark has developed, facilitated and produced community storytelling events for multiple groups within the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom including The Ford Family Foundation, The Church of Wales, The Boys and Girls Club, The Geos Institute, Asante Hospital Hospice, The Oregon Department of Human Services and many others. Prior to his work with The Hearth, Mark spent five years as the co-founder and program director at The Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont Lincoln University where he helped to develop a compassion formation program. Mark is the author of numerous books including"Contemplative Youth Ministry," "Growing Souls," "Downtime"and"Wonder, Fear, and Longing." Profiles of Mark and his work have appeared in the"Wall Street Journal," "ABC World News Tonight," "New York Times Online," "Washington Post Online," CBS Radio and"Youthworker Journal." Mark lives in Southern Oregon with his wife Jill and their three children."

Mark Yaconelli has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Youth Specialties

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

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

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Reviews - What do customers think about Growing Souls?

An excellent book putting contemplative youth ministry into practice  Jul 27, 2007
This book is written in acknowledgement that youth ministry culture has often become increasingly frantic, consumerist, dull, formulaic and spiritually stunted. However much of the thought in the book is applicable to other aspects of church life and it's a helpful read for those who don't play any part in youth ministry as well as for those for whom it is primarily written. The explanation of the busyness and frantic nature of much youth ministry, focusing mainly on fun activities and moral guidance rather than building young people with souls, was a timely reminder of the way that many churches have bought into the world's views on success and business-like methods as the be-all and end-all.

The first section is an introduction to contemplative youth ministry and how the programme of the YMSP (Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project) came about. The second section looks more closely at two specific churches and the way in which this new form of youth ministry works within those churches. The third section is an interview with many youth leaders from the churches that have been involved in the pilot projects and also with some of the youth who have been at these projects. The last section sums up the results of ten years of the youth ministry project and describes in more detail some of the problems that were encountered on the way. There are some helpful appendices which provide information on some of the methods used during the project.

The section that describes the experiences of two of these churches was fascinating, as were the apparent effects on the rest of the church, not just the youth section. What was interesting was that only three or four out of the original sixteen churches involved in the project had found that their churches really embraced this way of ministry and that in some cases the project contributed to instability in the church - sometimes church pastors or other parts of the churches shut the projects down and sometimes, even if the project continued to run, it created something of a wedge between youth and main church. However the overwhelming feeling from reading this book is that contemplative prayer is a vital tool for the youth leader who wants to build spiritually mature young people and "an attempt to counter the isolation, hyperactivity and emphasis on efficiency that plagues ministries with youth... an intervention to heal the more destructive aspects of the way youth ministry is often practised within a western context," even if many churches aren't yet ready for it or able to practise it.

My only reservation about the book was that it didn't address whether some young people couldn't relate to the more contemplative approach and therefore didn't stay involved with the churches studied; I imagine this could be the case but it wasn't specifically mentioned. However it was an enlightening book to read and it showed that this method can be of immense value to both the young people and also to the adult youth leaders and others involved in bringing the next generation of Christians into a deeper faith.

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