Culturally Intelligent Youth Ministry

While I was a Youth Pastor for about 11 years in total, I never fathomed a globalized world like we have today.  My world and my culture were small, but that time has past here in North America.  The world has changed and so have our youth ministries.

I often tell my missions classes that perhaps the best training for the cross-cultural ministry is youth ministry.  I found myself always asking what is cool or relevant to youth culture this week, and not building too much on it as next week it would change.  A youth ministry that finds success has to build it’s ministry not around the immediate culture, but the young people themselves.

Perhaps the best book I have read on practically getting a ministry to become culturally intelligent in how they care for others is the new book for youth ministries by Livermore and Linhart.  ”What Can We Do?” they ask.  But instead of talking about the philosophy of doing cross cultural ministry, this how to guide explains step by step how to get involved in some of the most relevant world issues today that can be dealt with from our own homes.

While I truly loved this read, in fact I devoured it in only a few hours after getting it, I simply hope that it doesn’t get stored away in the local churches solely under youth ministry.  This is a must read for any and all missions teams from every church.  While many say that young people don’t believe in absolute truth anymore, they do.  They believe that it is an absolute truth that we must care for social justice, the oppressed, the hungry, the persecuted.  This book shows us how to integrate these truths into our whole church missions efforts.

A must read for anyone who wants to practically get busy with bringing the gospel to our globalized world.