Think. Discuss. Act. Youth Ministry

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Review: It’s A Sin To Bore A Kid

C. Merideth, It”s a sin to bore a kid. Young Life.

The subtitle of this book is “The story of Young Life.”  All YL staff and those in any youth ministry can profit from this story and the basics of this pioneer organization. You should be inspired by descriptions of Jim Rayburn, a young seminarian in the late 1930s. Encouraged by a Presbyterian minister, who saw Jim”s ability to reach the un-reached, Jim stumbled into principles now widely accepted and frequently blurred.

  • Go where kids congregate.
  • Accept them as they are.
  • Build on their instinct for adventure.
  • Recognize the dignity of each unique person.
  • Learn how to walk in wisdom toward those outside the faith.
  • Expect to earn the right to be heard.
  • Find a neutral setting to meet together.
  • Create an environment that is casual and non-threatening.
  • Capitalize on the elements of good humor and music to establish an openness of mind and heart.
  • Consider it a sin to bore kids, especially with the Gospel.
  • Above all, be positive, and let your life and words express the freedom of grace and the Gospel.
  • Speak naturally and conversationally, and in terms familiar to a teenager”s vocabulary.
  • Communicate your enthusiasms and certainties, rather than flaunt your doubts.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. How do these principles agree with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as you understand them?
  2. To what extent do they reflect the youth ministry you see going on or your own relationships with young people?
  3. What would happen if you went into a local high school or neighborhood hangout following these guidelines?
  4. With which of the above do you have reservations or about what do you have questions?
  5. How could you train outreach workers in these principles? What might you add?

Dean Borgman
© 2018 CYS

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