This new article just came out in the Christian Post about youth ministry taking a more holistic approach. Here’s a clip of their new surveysfindings:

The study suggested that youth workers begin to explore holistic ministry to meet the social, physical, mental and emotional needs of youth and not just the spiritual.

On another note, the study found a discrepancy between what the youth workers claimed and the reality of their youth programs.

According to the survey, 88 percent of the youth workers claimed that nurturing a positive identity was “somewhat” or “very” important to their organization, but only 23 percent mentioned that they actually intentionally promote identity among their youth.

Also, 63 percent reported that parent involvement was important for their youth and programs, whereas only 11 percent said they promote it. And while 99 percent of participants claimed that nurturing personal values was “somewhat” to “very” important, only 41 percent actually mentioned that their program involved nurturing values.

“Embracing a more holistic approach to youth ministry means we should all look for ways to engage in greater networking with community-based service providers, the school system, and especially kids’ own families,” the study suggested.

Calling churches to create new forms of holistic ministry, Mark Maines of NewSong Church in San Dimas, Calif., said the Church today is at a time when it must acknowledge that it has tried to perfect and replicate a “tired form of student ministry that is no longer effective.”

“What we are feeling today is the slow, and at times painful, recognition that our current ministry efforts were designed and built for an era that has long since past,” he said, according to the Center for Youth and Family Ministry.

Maines believes “all students are at risk.” Ultimately, “the Church must revisit and re-engineer its ministry forms in order to help all students move towards Christ.”