We have spent a lot of time trying to figure our how to “do” youth and young adult ministry and we often think that the most creative, world-influenced fad will do the trick. But maybe the best direction is to head backwards… Rich Atkinson is doing young adult ministry in Britain and is building, or should we say, rebuilding, ministry based off of Isaiah 58:12. “And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.”
Atkinson claims that the young adult ministry of the future will be more rooted in the past. “This is why that I don’t believe the answer to the church of the future is in the future. I wonder if, rather than constantly trying to re-imagine the church, we should learn to look at some of the successes of the last 2,000 years of church history.”
“I believe this generation of youth and young adults is called to be the generation that rebuilds the church in the western world.”
Instead of the youth culture mandate of entertainment and the latest in cultural trends, Atkinson advocates a return to the transformative work of Christ and the work of those that have gone before. I think I agree with him and I am attempting to incite a movement to reclaim the truth of Christ among young adults.
So are we done with the games and ready for the gravy?
Atkinson says, “If we want to rebuild a movement that burns through the generations instead of dying like a flash-in-the-pan encounter with God, then we need to enable people to translate the amazing encounters they have with God into life-changing discipline. So as we look back to look forward… I see the future of youth and young adults ministry being marked by a generation that recaptures the truth that they have been transformed entirely by the amazing grace of God and then works that out with intense focus and discipline.”
“Maybe then our generation’s recurring comment will be, “The only response to the outrageous grace of God is a life disciplined to be totally orientated toward Him.”
Read his whole post here and check out this video for the young adult ministry he leads.