The Christian Newswire posted a summary of a new study (which you can download in full for free right here) about the state of youth ministry here in the US. I just downloaded it and can’t wait to read more. Here’s the description of it:

Christianity Today (CT) and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company have released findings of a joint research project — Youth Ministry in America. The study, based on responses from more than 800 youth ministry leaders across the United States, highlights key findings on the demographics, activities, and practices of youth ministries.

The study explored the level of communication between the senior pastor and youth pastor, support given to the church’s youth program, safety practices, and training provided to leaders and volunteers.

Communication emerged as a key area of vulnerability for churches. Adult-student texting is a particular concern. Six in ten youth pastors report that they communicate with individual students a few times a week or more, but only three in ten have a written policy governing such communications.

“When youth ministry is done well, students are engaged and move closer to Christ and each other,” says Marian Liautaud, editor of resources at Church Law and Tax for CT. “But often youth ministries expose themselves to increased risks. Our hope is that the Youth Ministry in America findings will help churches establish solid boundaries and best practices so they can serve teens in the church effectively and safely.”

The study also explored how well senior pastors are informed about activities in their church’s youth ministry.