I’ve finally read Marko’s Manifesto of Youth Ministry. I’ve read snippets, interacted with blips (Youth Ministry—What Must Die) and enjoyed what I’ve read of Marko’s ideas for his book Youth Ministry 3.0.
Now, having read the book entire, I want to share, work through and interact with the content. Being it’s a “manifesto” this will take more than one post to do it the justice it deserves.
Marko’s main premise is that Youth Ministry has been through three different “epochs” or phases in it’s history and we are now in the third epoch: Youth Ministry 3.0. He describes his premise well and each epoch in quick succession, giving the reader a firm historical grounding for his new ideas for this third epoch and why we need to embrace, understand and work within it. What I enjoyed most about this book was it’s direct approach to the matter of Youth Ministry. There was no attempt by Marko to sound eloquent or smart by adding extra chapters. He kept it frank, to the point and very concise. His book felt a lot like Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence in this. Both books are shorter than 150 pages, but are packed with great information that needs to be added to our lives in ministry NOW.
I think one of the most amazing things about this book is the interaction Marko got BEFORE publishing and while writing! Most guys don’t do this…they like their own thoughts too much. Here Marko shows not only his humility but his willingness to collaborate with other Youth Workers in order to design the best possible description of this new wave: YM 3.0. I was sad only because I couldn’t add my “two-sense” to the mix. I didn’t start following his blog until the book was already in the works of publishing. However, I am grateful for this act. It also shows we as youth workers can’t be on our own islands. Even Marko, the President of YS admits he needs help from other youth workers…what makes us think we can handle this new wave alone?
Before I continue to write, let me define (as Marko does) what Youth Ministry 3.0 is. Youth Culture has shifted. There are three main things that Youth have needed and still need today, each epoch has had its own focus however. YM 1.0 was Identity, 2.0 was Autonomy and 3.0 is Affinity (belonging). Marko states that we must understand that teens are looking for belonging. The old mind-set for YM (numbers driven, crazy BIG) must be left behind and the new mind-set (creating a space for small, intimate belonging) must be introduced and used.
I will unpack this further in my next post(s). Know that this book is definitely worth the read for ALL Youth Workers. It is informative, insightful and in my opinion right on! I did a “test” this Sunday by opening up the question at Sunday School: “Where do you feel you most BELONG?” and it was encouraging to say the least.
*GO HERE for the second post!*