Article | CREATING SPACE FOR GOD: TOWARD A SPIRITUALITY OF YOUTH MINISTRY by Michael Hryniuk

Youth Ministry and Spintuality Project

A contemplative approach to ministry with youth is founded on the premise that what all young persons ultimately desire, like Franny Glass, is not only an experience of God, but a whole way of life, a spir­ituality that sustains them in a living relationship to God. (151)

Seven Disciplines:

  1. Sabbath
  2. Prayer
  3. Discernment
  4. Covenant Community
  5. Accompaniment – To accompany young persons is also to create a space of care andhospitality for them in the larger faith community.
  6. hospitality
  7. authentic action

The ultimate goal of the contemplative approach to youth ministry is not contemplation, discernment, accompaniment, or even commu­nity. These are not ends in themselves, but means to the larger end of inviting and supporting young persons in authentic action on the way of Jesus Christ. (154)

As Jesus reminds his followers in John’s gospel: What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:5-6). There are formidable challenges to authentic action in youth ministry because church cultures and ministry systems have been heavily colonized by what Jesus and Paul call “the flesh”—a business mentality driven by anxiety that leaves little time for prayer, sharing, and discernment. The influences of individualism, consumerism, and competitiveness in the dominant culture make it more difficult than ever to “create space for God” in the lives of young people, but all the more critical. (154)

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