Youth Ministry in 2042

May 17, 2012

Youth Ministry Geek is dedicated to offering a glimpse into the ever progressing world of technology. How can we use technology to further the advance of the kingdom of Jesus in the lives of teenagers? That is the question we are asking, and writing about. However, this morning I was struck by front page article in The Washington Post that I was reading on my iPad. The headline read: Census: Minority babies are now majority in U.S. The article indicated that in July 2010 a “watershed moment” occurred in American history. A white population (babies) in America was officially eclipsed by a minority population. The article also argued that this eclipse would continue to accelerate until a point somewhere around 2042 when the nation will become a “majority-minority society.” In other words, minority groups will constitute the majority of the U.S. population. I encourage you to read the article for yourself, but for the moment let’s consider what this means for youth ministry in America.

In the next 30 years a dramatic shift will happen. “From a Christian perspective”, as Albert Mohler put it this morning in his podcast The Briefing, “this is a very important missiological insight.” In other words, the church in America must prepare herself for this shift and begin thinking through the questions that will define Christian ministry in the next 30 years. In the same way, youth ministers must begin acquainting themselves with this shift so that is does not take us by surprise. For the majority of it’s short history, youth ministry has prided itself with blazing methodological trails that the church has often followed. Now it is time for youth workers the begin thinking about the future of ministry demographics, and how we must adapt to reach this growing population. God is bringing the nations to us, and we must be prepared to accept them into a relationship that leads us in the gospel of Jesus.

As an East Coast, “Bible Belt”, Caucasian youth worker, here are some of the questions I am asking myself:

  • What are the cultural issues that concern the growing minority groups in America and how does the Gospel relate to/address those concerns?
  • What are the theological influences and trends in these minority groups, and how can I be prepared to have meaningful discussion about them?
  • How can I anticipate and implement the methodological changes required in becoming a multicultural youth pastor/youth ministry?
  • What part can technology play in bridging the gap between these cultures in the coming decades?

These are only a few of the big questions looming on the horizon of our youth ministry world. I would love to hear from youth pastors who are already working through these questions in their context. Hopefully we can continue the open dialogue that makes the youth ministry community so exciting to be a part of.



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