Presence-Centered Youth Ministry: Guiding Students into Spiritual Formation  -     By: Mike King
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Presence-Centered Youth Ministry: Guiding Students into Spiritual Formation

Inter-Varsity Press / 2006 / Paperback

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Product Description

How many programs does it take to change a youth group? That question has bothered youth workers for decades, and the cracks in its logic are beginning to show. In place of the contrived, artificial mechanisms employed so widely in modern youth outreach and discipleship, Mike King proposes a ministry centered in the presence of God. Young people encounter Christ not in the flash and pop of arena ministry, but in the sacred shadow of his presence.

They learn what it is to love and follow Christ by observing others loving and following Christ--letting Christ shape their worldviews, their habits, their virtues. Presence-Centered Youth Ministry gives shape to such ministry through the classic disciplines and potent symbols and practices that have sustained the church over the centuries. The sound and fury that has characterized youth ministry for so long has left too many youth workers tired and too many young people disillusioned. Come explore the deeper terrain; your students are sure to follow.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0830833838
ISBN-13: 9780830833832
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

How many programs does it take to change a youth group? That question has bothered youth workers for decades, and the cracks in its logic are beginning to show. In place of the contrived, artificial mechanisms employed so widely in modern youth outreach and discipleship, Mike King proposes a ministry centered in the presence of God. Young people encounter Christ not in the flash and pop of arena ministry, but in the sacred shadow of his presence. They learn what it is to love and follow Christ by observing others loving and following Christ--letting Christ shape their worldviews, their habits, their virtues. Presence-Centered Youth Ministry gives shape to such ministry through the classic disciplines and potent symbols and practices that have sustained the church over the centuries. The sound and fury that has characterized youth ministry for so long has left too many youth workers tired and too many young people disillusioned. Come explore the deeper terrain; your students are sure to follow.

Author Bio

Mike King serves as president of Youthfront, an organization creating environments for youth to experience spiritual transformation, and providing support to churches and youth workers. Mike also serves on the pastoral staff of Jacob's Well Church in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and conventions. He and his wife, Vicki, have two sons, a daughter and two daughters-in-law.

Editorial Reviews

"Wow. Talk about stirring the pot! Mike King gets way out on some beautiful and truthful thin ice, naming many of the closely held wrong assumptions and faulty practices of modern youth ministry. Then he crosses to the other side of this thin ice, and suggests a path forward. Congrats to Mike, and to anyone willing to thoughtfully consider the ideas in this book!"
"Mike King has started a conversation that's long overdue and frequently ignored in youth ministry circles. In this thoughtful book he tells his own story with humble vulnerability, exposes the sacred cows we've let graze for far too long on the youth ministry landscape, and helps us see that ministry isn't about facilitating and teaching outward behavorial conformity. I'm sure this book will make many uncomfortable because of its subject and recommendations. Pick it up. Don't put it down. Prayerfully wrestle with Mike and his message. Keep reading. This book just might take you out of your comfort zone, but that's right where many of us need to be led in order to be able to carefully and faithfully lead young people into the life-changing presence of God."
"Make no mistake: Presence-Centered Youth Ministry is about God's presence, not ours--which right away puts Mike King's approach to youth ministry in a class of its own. King transcends 'liberal/conservative' stereotypes by putting ancient spiritual practices at the heart of our ministry with young people--practices that center us in the presence of God. If you're not won by the teenagers you meet in these pages, you'll be won by the glimpses of how King's own ministry helps youth 'practice the presence of God.' If Brother Lawrence had been a youth pastor, this book would have been his favorite resource."
"With Presence-Centered Youth Ministry, Mike King has given us a road map to the tectonic shift underway in student ministry. At turns personal, challenging, testimonial and prophetic, this book will surely capture the hearts of many youth workers. Mike speaks from experience, yet with humility, and he is truly setting the course for a new day in youth ministry."

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  1. 1 Stars Out Of 5
    May 11, 2007
    Pastor-Teacher Gary E. Gilley
    I found myself in consensus with many of Kings general philosophies: The notion of youth workers as entertainers and program directors must give way to youth workers as authentic shepherds, spiritual guides with a holy anointing to lead youth into the presence of God (pp. 24, 25). He believes it to be a mistake to segregate youth ministry from the rest of the church (pp. 33, 37). We should not pressure or trick young people into making a decision for Christ, as is all too common in many circles (pp. 36-37). Our worship services should not be seekersensitive, rather they should be a bit odd for visiting unbelievers (pp. 38-39). And the post-2000 culture is tired of noise, phoniness, glitz and the superficialit is searching for an authentic encounter with God (pp. 62, 70). I think, given the fact that people are still flocking to seeker-oriented megachurches, the jury is still out on this last one, but I hope he is correct. The problem lies, however, with the particulars. King wants to provide young people with an encounter with the presence of God. But what does that really mean? In short, King believes that the mystics of medieval Catholicism have the inside track on encountering God. If we can but adopt their practices, techniques and methods, we too can enter the presence of God (e.g. p. 38). To this end King goes on to prescribe virtually every practice ever invented by Catholicism: sacred spaceswhere Gods presence is real (p. 87), labyrinths (p. 87), stations of the cross (p. 95), candles (p. 95), incense (p. 96), icons (pp. 132-134), respiratory prayers (pp. 121-123), the Jesus prayer (p. 121-122), prayer ropes (pp. 123-124), making the sign of the cross (pp. 1290132), daily offices (pp. 134-136), lectio divina (p. 147), crucifixes (p. 170) and confession to a priest (p. 171). He speaks highly of monks, monasteries and monasticism.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 15, 2007
    Rex Crocker
    In his easily read latest offering, King shares from 30 years of youth ministry experience about the failings of "programs" and behavior modification attempts. Instead, he provides a wealth of practical and fresh suggestions about not only how to bring students into the presence of God, but also how they might become faithful life-ling followers in the way of Jesus on their own.
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