Youth Ministry’s Tendency Toward Legalism

Great short article on why this approach is wrong

He synopsizes his youth ministry’s message with a story, which his youth pastor used to tell kids. The story basically involved a sad man, sitting in a corner, disappointed and hurt by his children, who he wished would come pay attention to him. The youth pastor explained that the man in the corner was Jesus, who remained displeased with his children when they failed to spend time with him or when we disobeyed his commands. In sum, we are a disappointment to God unless we perform spiritually.

Question: How Long Does A Youth Minister Stay In Post?

Does anyone have some hard data, or a report based on hard data, about the average length of time a youth minster stays in post? I’ve heard mixed stats on this, from 3 years, to 18 months (the most common time given) to 10 months. Those figures seem low even by my cynical standards, so I wouldn’t mind seeing the maths on it.

Answers on a postcard, or via Twitter or .

The New NIV

A month in to switching back to the NIV, here are some thoughts and comments in no particular order.

I haven’t missed using an ESV at all. Maybe it’s because most of my time this month has been spent in narrative books, but I haven’t once wondered how the ESV would have translated something. I also haven’t found myself translating it as I read it out loud with people. Seeing as this was my original concern with the ESV I’m obviously fairly happy with this.

I’ve really missed the ESV’s amazing concordance. My old tiny pocket bible still had a ten page concordance. My new NIV does not have one at all. This is irritating but it’s not the end of the world because…

I’m still using the ESV iPhone app. Because it’s a lot better than any other app going. It’s fast and has good typesetting and more importantly has a pretty good search program. Annoyingly the search doesn’t do anything more complicated than search for one word at a time but most of the time that’s what you need. By nature of translation the ESV is more suited to a feature like this anyway. The NIV needs to get its act together here, but one of the advantages of the ESV is that its publishing rights are still controlled in one place and so they can develop neat things like that quickly.

And then there is the new typesetting. Unless you’ve picked up an NIV printed in the last six months you won’t have noticed this, but Harper-Collins (who own the commercial publishing rights to the NIV) have just rolled out a new layout and typeset of the UK NIV. This is irritating because there isn’t quite the wide range of NIVs in stock that there used to be, but it’s brilliant because the new typesetting is so excellent. I have no idea what the font is but it’s an almost sans-serif which is wonderfully legible and attractive to read. It’s also got a wider central margin with a smart dotted line down the middle, which sounds stupid but does add to the readability of it.

Can I see myself switching back? No. I’m intrigued to see what happens with the NIV 2.0 but I’ll wait for the dust to settle on it first.

1 Some will say that the TNIV is the NIV 2.0. Wrong. To use a more fitting example, if the original NIV was A New Hope, and the new NIV is aiming to be The Empire Strikes Back, then the TNIV was the Phantom Menace.[2]

2 Or, if you’re really au-fait with your Star Wars knowledge, the Christmas Special.

CYM and University Place Cuts

Ian has news that CYM (Centre for Youth Ministry, the largest full-time youth ministry course) is cutting places next year due to funding arrangements.

CYM will not be able to offer places to those who last year would have sailed in, also churches that have advertised and only now found a potential worker/student no longer have a course for them to go to.

The story I’m hearing is that classes sizes will halve next year, down from 20 till about 10.