What’s the best way to disciple young people?

Might be one question that never gets asked. Questions that do get asked are ;
How do we get young people into our youth club? How do we keep them? How do we make the bible relevant?  What kind of event will they like to attend? What might be the best form of youth ministry?

Why does discipleship not appear in the shaping of these questions?
Is the event, the group or the cultural thing of Christianity more important?

So, what is the best way to disciple young people, or anyone, is on one hand a matter for defining discipleship as an ongoing discernment and enacting parables in the world and church. Faith is shown by its actions as does worship. Discipleship is to good works in response to love for God.
It’s not just learning about God. Singing to him, being in church community. The call for discipleship is to be equipped in the world to love the world.
How are we preparing young people to love and serve the world? The purposeful call of discipleship to follow the director and cues of the spirit in the ongoing world?
It’s the only thing that matters, so let’s have discipleship as the core focus of youth ministry. If it doesn’t help young people to be discipled for service, for loving the world and being hospitable then it might only be the clanging gong of activity.
Crudely it could just be a cultural thing of a faith or youth ministry that is pursuing relevancy instead of biblical authenticity and faithfulness. Culture doesn’t need more of an alternative culture it needs prophets and disciples who can speak into it and navigate it.
That I believe is the task of discipling young people. It’s the call of the church, its the task of the great commission. 
So- what is the best way of discipling young people? Is it occurring and how might all of youth ministry be levelled against deep ingrained discipleship of lives of young people who follow God’s call in the world to love it and transform it.


Author: James

Currently I work part time for both Frontier Youth Trust (www.fyt.org.uk) and Communities Together Durham (www.communitiestogetherdurham.org) and am also self employed and do various aspects of youthwork consultancy, including training, writing, lecturing, seminars and written pieces, including organisational consultancy, community profiling and detached/youthwork training. Please do get in touch if I can be of help to you in your church, project or organisation to develop your youth and community work. I have contributed to 'Here be Dragons (2013), and two recent articles in the youth and theology journal and 'ANVIL' the CMS online journal. My recent employment includes, working for FYT as a youthwork development adviser, being the centre director at Durham YFC, and before this I was known as 'Mr Sidewalk' as I was the project coordinator for the Sidewalk Project in Perth, where I facilitated the delivery of 5 years of detached youthwork on the streets, schools and communities to engage with young people , and support through alcohol misuse issues. In 2017 I completed an MA in Theology & Ministry at St John's College, Durham, and in 2008 graduated from ICC (now NTC Glasgow) with an honours degree in youth work with Applied theology.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.