The motivation for writing this book primarily came from my own experiences while engaged in eight years of full-time youth ministry in a church setting. There were so many things it would have been helpful to know about before entering the world of youth ministry. There were so many resources on the activities of youth work, but so little on the actor…the youth minister. And there is still very little that clarifies the role of the youth minister, particularly as it relates to the relational boundaries that come into play within youth ministry.
But motivation also came from having grown up in a minister’s home (yes, I’m a “PK”—a pastor’s kid) and being a witness to how important establishing and maintaining boundaries is. It’s imperative for the minister, but also for the minister’s family.
The expectations that one brings to the role, as well as those brought by those ministered to, are not always based in reality, scripture or even clear thinking. Examining where they come from, how they might manifest themselves and what to do about them is what this book is about.
As you will see it has been some time since I was directly involved in full-time youth ministry. I worked alongside my wife during her seven-years of full-time church-based youth ministry. We’ve both been involved in volunteer work ever since. While the world has morphed since our direct youth ministry experience, the themes addressed haven’t changed. But the challenges have, along with what’s at stake.
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