My friend Will Briggs blogs a report on youth ministry from Tim Hawkins to the Tasmanian Anglicans. I haven’t read the report, but Will’s summaries are fascinating. Hawkins suggests to build a good youth ministry takes twenty years! What it really means is that building an effective congregation from very little, with representation across all the age groups, takes two decades. So why are Anglican incumbencies so short? In my observation most Anglican ministers stay 6-10 years.
If the report is wise, surely it also means to build a good youth ministry according to this strategy you have to keep working on the long term strategy rather than the typical do-everything-you-can-to-hang-on-to-the-five-high-school-kids-you-have-right-now strategy.
The strategy revolves around the fact that “to have a growing and lasting youth ministry in your church you ideally need a few other key age groups.” In particular, the 35-50 year age group who are the parents of teenagers, the 0-11 year age group in a children’s ministry who will feed into a youth ministry, and the parents of the 0-11 year group – aged 20-35 years.