I’m a naughty blogger these days – promising updates and failing to deliver, but this time I blame sickness.. so there are some of my thoughts reflections on the previous notes, just a couple of thoughts that stuck out, I’m holding them here.

Globalization – we’ve been driven by a global economic market.*

Interesting though, that while the global economy has led and driven western society to the this point, it seems there is a subliminal shift and seeking of what the drivers of society ought to be, certainly with a movement away from placing fiscal responsibility in the hands of a confidence-based market for profit. So – my pitch is that money people will have to become wiser and slower, especially as the southern hemisphere responds to the northern hemisphere “rescue packages”. Students becoming more engaged will start to use their knowledge of international economics and policy in financial planning, decision-making and eventually this will lead to a new brand of politics and government as Boomers move on.

Graduate Work Experience
– Work has become a means to an end throughout student career, paid employment is to support the ‘important stuff’. Exposes the dualism present, most do not operate in a culture where work is connected to purpose.**

Starts with the allowance for chores model. Work = money = lifestyle & experience. The more redundant our education systems become with knowledge for knowledge’s sake, the more dependent people become on entertainment rather than enlightenment. Most ‘purpose’ jobs are even then, ongoing self-actualisation tasks. Working for credit, achievement, fame, glory. Offer work experiences that are fulfilling and worthwhile, the purpose/entertainment factor starts to balance out – especially taking into consideration already successful models. Consider most ‘church/faith’ programmes or community practices and what the balance is between ‘work/study/obligation’ in order to gain ‘experience/community/intimacy/relationship’. Small groups, bible study, service projects.. yet service projects are one of the fastest growing models for young adult ministry. Why? Will it be successful longterm?

Cultural Complexity – I am my own brand***

Cultural Complexity
– multi ethnic diversity on campus and expanding in the wider populus****
The mosaic world we live is creates enormous questions over identity.*****

I will hopefully post more on this BUT – This area of multi-cultural multi-generationalism is absolutely fascinating to me, especially because NZ is a hotbed of continual new immigration, from Asia Pacific, South Africa, Africa and further afield. These ongoing cycles do pose interesting possibilities.

I’ve thought for a long time, that the pick’n’mix approach many students carry into their university/graduate faith is not that bad. Sure, we get frustrated with the ‘lack of commitment’ but actually this kind of ‘pick your adventure path’ attitude to defining your own identity within multicultural environments, does apply to those who select elements to build their own faith practices. (Understand I’m speaking strictly about faith practices, not beliefs.) Thus, the fabric of their spiritual community is defined by the pieces and threads they tie together.

Using the “Believe/Behave/Belong” model in unison rather than focusing on one element is a big challenge but important.******

Ok, so I just got confused here, and I’m looking for someone to correct me. I’ve only ever been exposed or conversed around the 3B’s as a way of viewing, observing the values shifting between generations. I guess the natural response of that, is to then based ministry approaches on those most present felt-needs. But I don’t think that how it was applied here was necessarily right? Essentially I think I am still more of a Youth Ministry 3.0 girl – affinity does take priority over the others.

Other Reflections
As with so many things, it’s nearly impossible to stay completely current, I’m constantly updating my own research and observations. Also, I think we also have to shift our thinking when it comes to the boundaries and definitions around youth ministry/tertiary ministry etc.

The reality is, while youth culture continues to grow in it’s domination of the 11 – 38 year old segement, the niche youth sectors become more specific.

For example, the difference in interests, fashion, music, technology, work/study balance.. these used to be points of great difference where mass groups moved in unison between these lifestages. Like when every kid from Sunday School turned 5 and started school in the same year – 12months and everyone was on the same page again.

However, think about:
Those retraining, returning to post-grad study
Those shifting jobs and career paths every 3-5 years
Those embracing marriage/children/defacto relationships/divorcing
Travelling overseas / living overseas
Buying and selling property & setting up house (Living away from the family home)
Those in vocational training rather than tertiary training
Those part-time working / part-time studying or parenting or creating
Who own and drive vehicles
Who use drugs/alcohol recreationally or habitually

Each of these aspects or areas of life could apply to anyone 15 – 40 years, because many of those critical choices being made in the tween and teen years, are now being revisited in the early adult years – but the culture remains largely the same, influenced by dominant youth culture trends. The number of 15+ having children, living independently, leaving school earlier than previously is continuing to rise.

So, if you go to trying to identify key tasks of youth ministry, I think it gets pretty easy to see, that most of it still applies to that ‘young adult’ sector. Sometimes, especially more so, as some adolescent experiences are intensified or only present in the latter stages of adolescence (smack bang in the middle of 18 – 24 years sector).