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Youth Ministry 3.0 [Hardcover]

By Mark Oestreicher & Kenda Creasy Dean (Foreward By)
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Item Number 309393  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   155
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2009
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310668662  
EAN  9780310668664  
UPC  025986668662  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In Youth Ministry 3.0, you?ll explore, along with Mark Oestreicher and the voices of other youth workers, why we need change in youth ministry. You?ll get a quick history of youth ministry over the last 50 years. And you?ll help dream about what changes need to take place in order to create the next phase of youth ministry?the future we need to create for effective ministry to students.

Publishers Description
Over the past several decades there have been three significant shifts in youth culture; each new shift brought with it different values and priorities in the lives of teens. Youth ministries adapted and responded to the first two shifts, but we re missing the boat on the third. The result? Youth ministry isn t addressing the realities and needs of today s youth culture. After nearly three decades in youth ministry, Mark Oestreicher has lived through a lot of those shifts himself. In recent years, he s found himself wondering what needs to change, especially since so much of what we re doing in youth ministry today is not working. In Youth Ministry 3.0, youth workers will explore, along with Marko and the voices of other youth workers, why we need change in youth ministry, from a ministry moving away from a dependence on programs, to one that is focused on communion and mission. They ll get a quick history of youth ministry over the last fifty years. And they ll help dream about what changes need to take place in order to create the next phase of youth ministry --- the future that needs to be created for effective ministry to students."

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More About Mark Oestreicher & Kenda Creasy Dean

Mark Oestreicher

Mark Oestreicher (Marko) is a veteran youth worker and former president of Youth Specialties. The author of dozens of books, including Youth Ministry 3.0 and Middle School Ministry, Marko is a sought after speaker, writer and consultant. Marko leads The Youth Cartel, providing a variety of resources, coaching and consultation to youth workers, churches and ministries. Marko lives in San Diego with his wife Jeannie and two teenage children, Liesl and Max.

Mark Oestreicher currently resides in El Cajon, in the state of California.

Mark Oestreicher has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Simply for Students
  2. Skinny

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Youth Ministry 3.0: Challenging  Feb 15, 2010
Title: Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto Of Where We've Been, Where We Are, And Where We Need To Go by Mark Oestreicher.

Pages: 155.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: None. I read it right away.

Days spent reading it: 1 afternoon.

Why I read it: I'm a youth pastor, so I figured I'd like to hear what Mark Oestreicher had to say about where youth ministry needed to go. Mark Oestreicher (aka Marko) is president of Youth Specialties, a leading company in youth ministry resources. I heard about this book through Marko's blog ([...]).

Brief review: Youth Ministry 3.0 is Marko's attempt to talk about the previous, current, and future direction of youth ministry. The book includes a brief discussion about adolescent development, a brief history of youth ministry since post-WWII, and then a few suggestions on how we can take youth ministry to the next step.

The center thesis of this book seems to be that youth ministry has gone through two phases already, and is about to enter the third phase. Phase one was driven by proclamation. It was centered around evangelism and teaching. Phase two was driven by programs. "Bigger is better" would be a favorite slogan. This phase focused on discipleship. Many churches are in this phase right now. But as youth ministers we know there is something wrong. Kids are dropping out at ridiculous rates (it is not uncommon to hear statistics that 80% of kids drop out of church after high school, this number seems to be inflated, but you get the picture). We know somethings wrong, so what do we do? Marko proposes phase three which would not be driven by any particular motivator. Instead it is present (or incarnational).

So the question is obviously how do we get to an incarnational ministry from a program (or even proclomation) driven ministry? Marko offers up a few solutions. We can focus on smaller groups, and literally have a youth group for each sub-culture in our youth. We could focus on making our youth ministries a place for a supra-culture--where everyone comes together and no one group is better or dominate over the other groups. Finally, we could have hybrid of the two. Perhaps a large group for some events, and a small group for others.

Honestly, Marko's ideas are aimed at larger groups. Although he addresses the question of how smaller groups can incorporate this kind of thinking (on pgs. 95-96) it seemed forced. Seeing that I work with about 20-30 students, many of his ideas on how to move to Youth Ministry 3.0 seemed impractical or unnecessary.

I'm not convinced Marko has the solutions, but at least he is willing to think outside of the box to create some discussion about this topic. It is important to wrestle with, and I think this book has created great discussion and thought on where we need to take youth ministry in the upcoming years in order to stay relevant to a culture that changes every single day. One great thought Marko has at the end of the book is that youth ministers need to begin to consider themselves missionaries. We are becoming more and more distant from the culture we are attempting to reach. In order to be effective we need to begin thinking like missionaries. We need to begin studying youth culture like we would other cultures around the world. (Should youth ministers begin to take missions courses in college? That's probably not a bad idea...)

Every youth leader should read this book and wrestle with the thoughts, problems, solutions, and overall structure of their youth ministries. There are many great little gems in this book. I underlined a lot of it as I read and digested the ideas. It only takes about 2 hours to read through. The book is short, the typeset and spacing are large. It is definitely worth the investment.

Favorite quote: "We must live incarnationally, positioning ourselves humbly and openly on the somtimes cold, dark, and scary stairwell to the underground of youth culture."

Stars: 4 out of 5.

Final Word: Challenging.
IDK  Jul 8, 2009
I just got done reading, "Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto of Where We've Been, Where We Are & Where We Need to Go" by Mark Oestreicher. The first thing I noticed was that the writing is in a huge font and there is a lot of filler on the sides from various people involved in youth ministry so the book can be read in like 2 hours, easy. Just an observation. Also it is refreshing to read a book that you already by and large agree with (which I do for the most part).

The main premise of his book is this: "The reality [of the effectiveness of youth ministry] that's playing out is somewhat different than what we imagined, hoped, or expected." (pg. 24). He is basically stating in his book: youth ministry as we know it or have known it is generally not "working". Agreed. Even as a rookie I can see this and have seen this since I've been involved in youth ministry for the past 6 years.

The Breakdown:

For starters, Oestreicher cites the all too often over cited and known facts about adolescence and adolescent development, etc. that have already been beat to death by Chap Clark, et al. But it is still good to hear as a refresher. Moving on to frame his premise, Oestreicher gives a breakdown of the history of youth ministry:

YM 1.0: Proclamation Driven:
This is basically evangelism. Kids need to hear and receive the gospel message. This is what drove youth ministry from the early 1900's until about the 1970's. It was/is about identity. Basically adolescents are trying to figure out who they are; their identity. And he cites "evangelism" and "correction" as key marks of YM 1.0. Think Billy Graham, think preaching, think the message going out to kids, This is YM 1.0.

YM 2.0: Program Driven:
This is a reaction to YM 1.0. He defines this as "if we can build the right program with the coolest youth room and hip adult leaders and lots of great stuff to attract kids, then we'll be successful." (pg 59). Basically think structure, cool events, formal and rigid program nights with a band, a message, and fun games, etc; a program. How many kids are coming is more important than the actual kids themselves. Participation = success. There is also a huge emphasis on discipleship and "creating a positive peer group." This is YM 2.0 and he identifies this with the quest for autonomy in the life of adolescents.

YM 3.0: Not Driven, but Present:
He argues that we need to move from 2.0 into 3.0 but this will look different for each youth ministry. This is defined not by programs or events, but by being with the kids and doing life with them. It means communion (like community but deeper) and missional living. This happens in small groups of kids, not large programs where most kids don't even know each other. The focus is "to be present with the teenagers God has placed in our midst." (pg. 72). Spurgeon always said that when you focus on the empty seat you do a disservice to the filled seat next to it (paraphrase). God brings us kids to minister to. Lets minister to them and be in communion with them. Lets be missionaries to them not their best buddy or the "cool youth pastor." The focus of 3.0 is affinity. Teenagers are trying to find out where they belong. We need to facilitate that in a small, organic, communal, missional group where they can feel loved, welcomed and yet have purpose and be on a mission from Jesus where they are actually making a difference.

Oestreicher even advocates doing less, and being smaller, simpler. He writes, "Let me say it plainly: Large is part of the value system of Youth Ministry 2.0; small is a cornerstone to Youth Ministry 3.0. Communion necessitates small. Contextualization begs for small. Discernment requires small. Mission is lived out in small...not forced community, programming, and utility." (pg. 99). I went to a youth group sometimes in high school before I was saved that had 800 high schoolers and 400 junior highers! It was a purely social endeavor. It was nuts. I think that if the youth pastor doesn't know the name of every kid in the room, the group is too big.

With all of this said, I liked most of what he wrote in this book. I would have loved to see a lot more theology in it and bible citations (there are about 10 total ?) and I do think Oestreicher puts too much of an emphasis on "what we do" instead of letting God "do". Another breakdown of the book is that he somewhat advocates an "either/or" approach to youth ministry (regarding 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0) instead of a "both/and" approach. While moving into 3.0 there are elements of 1.0 (evangelism and correction, see Colossians 1:28) and 2.0 (discipleship, see...the bible) that must and should be present in any ministry. I hope that the move to 3.0 doesn't leave content (gospel, doctrine, etc.) in its wake.

Even with those objections stated, by and large I loved the book. I like where he is going with it and what he envisions. This year (before I read the book) I canceled high school "youth group" and now we meet at a home and eat, study the bible and hang out. It is more discussion based and more natural. More organic and zero program feel to it. I've always hated "programs." Programs are fake and forced. Now we just have two high school bible studies during the week, (one is an inductive study through 1 John, and one is a discussion based group where we're going through "Where Faith and Culture Meet" by Andy Crouch.). We still have junior high youth group because I think they need more concrete boundaries, and Sunday school is a hybrid of discussion and teaching for both.

So we have different groups to meet the desires of different kids. I like being present and not driven. I am glad Oestreicher wrote this book. Hopefully we can all eventually move into being the church, where success is measured by being faithful to God's call, instead of being activity directors where success is measure by "how many kids are in your group."
Raises the right kind of questions  Jun 28, 2009
The religious community is a significant source of character formation for young people. Because volunteers often oversee youth groups, I am always looking out for good resources to help them use their time wisely and effectively with teens. Youth Ministry 3.0 by Mark Oestreicher is one such book. Marko (as the author is better known) has an extensive background working with youth ministry internationally and is qualified to assess its current condition.

Adolescence is the period between the dependence of childhood and the independence of adulthood. Psychologists tell us that adolescents are trying to accomplish three tasks during this time: form their identity, develop autonomy (independence), and experience affinity (belonging). In Marko's estimation, Youth Ministry 1.0 (1940s - 1960s) emphasized identity formation through preaching and Youth Ministry 2.0 (1970s - 1990s) emphasized independence through programs. He sees belonging (where and to whom do I belong) as the critical thrust of working with young people today.

This emphasis of Youth Ministry 3.0 is about localization, spending time together, and mission. Localization simply means that a youth group should express its own characteristics based on its community and young people. It does not have to model itself on big successful programs around the country (or even down the street). Spending time together is not just about providing a program each week, but giving meaning and connection to youth's lives throughout the week. Mission gives the group something to rally around and gives direction to everyone. (It is interesting that this approach emphasizes belonging but provides much aid to young people in accomplishing the other two tasks of adolescence as well.)

Youth Ministry 3.0 is intriguing reading that raises a lot of possibilities. I think it is especially suited to group discussion with youth leaders, volunteers, and even students in leadership.
Right On  Apr 30, 2009
This book does a great job of defining the past and present of youth ministry, and I believe that it is right on for the future. It gives great insights, guidance and examples of the "next things" in youth ministry without prescibing a system to be followed.
Youth Ministry 3.0 moves away from consumer product driven ministry to a truely organic ministry that is as relevant as we allow it to be. Many of the themes could easily be translated for whole church ministry as well. If there are youth in your church or you would like there to be, read this book.
Youth Worker/Pastor Must Read  Feb 27, 2009
Because he is the leader of THE organization with the most influence in Christian youth work, the author's opinion should be given extra weight. The book packs much insight into the state of youth culture, and the church's failure to adapt (though not for want of interest). If you love kids, and you care about the church, please read this book -- it's food for thought, and allows you space for your own solutions.
If you're a pastor, and you're willing to read this detailed treatise on what's wrong and how things could possibly be changed, you get extra points.

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