Interested in a Postmodern Youth Ministry Conference?

Interested in a Postmodern Youth Ministry Conference? May 19, 2012

John Vest is. If you’re interested, please let him know:

I’m thinking quite seriously about hosting a children and youth ministry conference in Chicago in the fall of 2013. The particular focus is still gelling, but I want to gather together practitioners and academics to think about the following three questions:

What does religious education/faith formation for children and youth look like in a postmodern context? For example, what is the purpose, role, and shape of confirmation in a church context that embraces uncertainty and ambiguity?

What does children and youth ministry look like in a post-denominational context? Are we raising emerging generations in particular faith traditions or are we reinforcing the post-denominational trends? Does it matter?

Even more broadly, how do we effectively minister to children, youth, and families in a post-Christendom context in which church is no longer at the center of culture?

I’m thinking of calling it something like “Children and Youth Ministry in the Posts.” Chris Rodkey (somewhat) jokingly suggested “Children, Youth and a New Kind of Post-Christianity.” Whatever we call it, if this sounds interesting to you, let me know.

Drop him a line here: Children, Youth, and a (not so) New Kind of Christianity.

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  • Kevin L. Huddleston

    I would be very interested in this. I loved our conversations at your cabin and the coursework last fall. The time together pushed me on the importance of a re-imagination of youth and family ministry. I am not sure what all you have in mind for the conference but would love to see this conversation move forward.

  • Jason

    I’m in.

  • Mike W

    I’m in

  • Evelyn

    Um, yeah. All of these questions about how children fit into an emergent church are QUITE interesting. When my church started talking postmodernism and relative morality, I decided to leave my kid at home with my atheist but relatively ethical husband rather than take her to a church that I found to be leaning in an amoral direction (and, no, I’m not a life-long christian with and axe to grind, I’m actually one of the UNCHURCHED). I don’t think kids are at a spiritual level where they can cope with an emergent mentality. I think you really need to have some life experience behind you so you have a firm grasp on the why’s of your ethos before you try to break it down and make it “relative”.

  • Sarah

    Just went to an awesome one — Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity — in D.C. Four days of panels, keynote speakers, vendor tables, workshops etc. Came back stuffed with information and a vision of where we are heading. Truly inspiring. So, there is a need for this kind of conference regularly. We had around 400 people or so attend this one and there are many people I know in Formation ministries that I wish had attended.

  • John

    Count me in!

  • Thanks for the shout out, Tony. And thanks to all who have expressed interest. I’ll keep you posted as this comes together.

  • Joshua

    Awesome! Lets teach kids deconstructionism so they don’t have to really believe in anything.

  • much needed. thanks for getting the ball rolling on this Tony

  • Brandon Pachey

    Interested as well, hit me up on FB or Twitter or by email. Thanks!

  • Interested in such an event. Will stay tuned to developments.