Youth Ministry Creating Ecclesial Space

The Work and History of ‘Urban Saints’ and the Development of Ecclesiological Thinking within Youth Ministry

in Journal of Youth and Theology
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By outlining the origins of ‘Urban Saints’ youth ministry and through comparing this with the emerging ecclesiology of ‘New Contextual Churches’ this paper proposes that work with young people creates space into which the church can grow. The potential of a pilgrim ecclesiology is noted as way of moving towards an ecclesiological framework for this. Finally, through reflection on data from extended case studies of two current Urban Saints groups, the way in which youth ministry is still moving into new space is demonstrated. The paper concludes by suggesting that creating ecclesial space is one way of understanding the relationship between youth ministry and the church.

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References

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8

Terry A. Veling, Practical Theology: “On Earth as It Is in Heaven” (New York: Orbis Books, 2005), 61.

12

Michael Burawoy, Ethnography Unbound: Power and Resistance in the Modern Metropolis (Berkely and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1991); “The Extended Case Method,” Sociological Theory 16, no. 1 (1998). Burawoy contrasts his Extended Case Method to three other ways of negotiating theory and data in fieldwork – grounded theory, the interpretive case method and ethnomethodology.

24

Hindmarsh, “Evangelcial Ecclesiology,” 15; Richard Beaton, “Reimagining the Church: Evangelical Ecclesiology,” in Evangelical Ecclesiology: Reality or Illusion, ed. John G Stackhouse Jnr (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Academic, 2003), 217–8.

25

Hindmarsh, “Evangelcial Ecclesiology,” 23–5.

27

Mark DeVries, Family-Based Youth Ministry (Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity Press, 1994); Andrew Root, Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry (Downers Grove, Il.: InterVarsity Press, 2007); Mark H. Senter, iii, “The Three-Legged Stool of Youth Ministry,” in Agenda for Youth Ministry, ed. D. Borgman and Christine Cook (London, uk: Triangle, spck, 1998).

28

Leanne Van Dyk, “The Church in Evangelical Theology and Practice,” in The Cambridge Companion to Evangelcial Theology, ed. Timothy Larsen and Daniel J. Treier (Cambridge, uk: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Stephen R. Holmes, “British (and European) Evangelical Theologies,” in The Cambridge Companion to Evangelical Theology, ed. Timothy Larsen and Daniel J. Treier (Cambridge, uk: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

29

Roger E. Olson, “Free Church Ecclesiology and Evangelical Spirituality,” in Evangelical Ecclesiology: Reality or Illusion, ed. John G Stackhouse (Grand Rapids, mi: Baker Academic, 2003), 162.

38

Peter Marshall, The Reformation: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). In his introduction to this book on the Reformation Marshall refers to earlier ‘urgent attempts’ to renew the church in the tenth, twelfth and fourteenth centuries. These could have both official and unofficial faces. He concludes that ‘the call for ‘reform’ in the life of the church is about as old as the religion itself.’ See ibid., 3–4.

39

 See Christopher Ocker, “Ecclesiology and the Religious Controversy of the Sixteenth Century,” in The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church, ed. Gerard Mannion and Lewis S Mudge (Oxford: Routledge, 2008); Marshall, The Reformation.

40

Alison Forrestal, “The Church in the Tridentine and Early Modern Eras,” in The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church, ed. Gerard Mannion and Lewis S Mudge (Oxford: Routledge, 2008), 85.

41

John W. Constable, “Reformation as a Youth Movement,” Concordia Theological Monthly 42, no. 10 (1971). Constable also notes that Luther made a point of writing about the importance of teaching children and young people. Ibid., 672.

43

F. A. van Lieburg, “Interpreting the Dutch Great Awakening (1749–1755),” Church History 77, no. 2 (2008): 326.

45

Cynthia A. Rice, “The First American Great Awakening: Lessons Learned and What Can Be Done to Foster a Habitat for the Next Great Awakening,” International Congregational Journal 9, no. 2 (2010): 110.

46

Ian M. Randall, “Church Renewal 150 Years Ago,” Journal of European Baptist Studies 14, no. 2 (2014). Randall highlights particular examples of a group of young schoolgirls in Ireland and of young people in a congregation in Wales to demonstrate this. The other three areas he identifies are prayer, ministerial leadership and lay participation.

48

Gay, Remixing, 93. Ward expresses something similar in the opening words of Liquid Church: ‘The Church of God must not stand still. In every age, inspired by the Holy Spirit, God’s people have found new ways to express their fellowship and mission.’ Pete Ward, Liquid Church (Paternoster Press, 2002), 1.

49

Julie Gittoes, “Where Is the Kingdom,” in Generous Ecclesiology: Church, World and the Kingdom of God, ed. Julie Gittoes, Brutus Green, and James Heard (London: scm Press, 2013), 113.

52

Gay, Remixing, 93; Gay is citing Geoffrey Wainwright, Worship with One Accord: Where Liturgy and Ecumenism Embrace (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 269.

56

Group Observation, 10th May 2014.

57

Leader interview, 13th August 2014.

58

Leader interview, 18th August 2014.

59

Leader Interview, 19th August 2014.

60

Leader Interview, 11th August 2014.

61

Group Observation, 4th July 2014.

62

Leader Interview, 11th August 2014.

63

Leader Interview, 21st August 2014.

64

Leader Interview, 11th August 2014.

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