Human Beings and Human Becomings

Departing from the Developmental Model of Youth Ministry

In: Journal of Youth and Theology
Wesley W. Ellis Youth worker, Ramona, California ( usa) Member in Discernment, United Church of Christ Student, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, USA,

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The dominant approach to youth ministry in the United States is a developmental model wherein outcomes of maturity are granted normative authority. Preoccupation with development has made our attention to young people’s experience of divine action problematic if not impossible. Offering an interpretive corrective, by introducing childhood studies as an interdisciplinary partner alternative to developmental psychology, and a theological corrective by drawing on the eschatological theology of Jürgen Moltmann, I provide rationale for youth workers to recognise and participate in God’s action in the lives of young people, even those who will not progress according to standards of spiritual maturity.1

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