Reaching young people is still possible.
The Youth Ministry "movement" has become a monument. Youth leaders are doing so much work, and it all seems worthy. It's big, important stuff. But leaders across the nation quietly suspect that the more we do, the less effective we seem to be in reaching young people. All those retreats and camps, books and seminars, conferences and leadership symposiums - what difference do they make in young lives today?
As technology accelerates, spiritual apathy increases. Young people are biblically illiterate, bored, and find the church to be irrelevant. Parents are frustrated. Youth leaders are burned out. And high school and college students - if they ever attended - are leaving the church by the droves.
What on earth has gone wrong?
Youth Ministry shines a revealing light on standard youth ministry practices, and helps the reader to see what needs to change. The book is full of practical ideas that work in real churches, and includes 'voices from the trenches' - perspectives from current youth ministry leaders.
Deep down inside, young people want life to matter. The church has something important to offer, but we have to start getting it right.
Dr. David Olshine is the Director of Youth Ministry, Family and Culture at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. David is the author and co-author of 19 books including the best selling Studies On-the-Go with Youth Specialties (Zondervan). He writes a regular article called "Soul Care" for Youth Worker Journal. He is ordained in the United Methodist Church and has spent over 30 years as a youth pastor and lead pastor of a college-town church. David is the co-founder of Youth Ministry Coaches, an organization that helps the church strategize for youth ministry (youthmincoaches.com). His education includes a B.G.S., Ohio University; M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary, and D.Min., Eastern Baptist Seminary. He is married to Rhonda and has two kids, Rachel and Andrew.