This article outlines a public rhetoric for youth ministry in an era of ecclesial agoraphobia. The article draws on the findings of a larger research project titled The Four Speeches Every Leader Has to Know. With the use of rhetorical theory, analysis of actual speeches, and a phenomenological and narrative approach to leadership and speaking, this research project has developed a four speeches-typology – the opening speech, the executioner speech, the consolation speech, and the farewell speech. The article uses this typology within the framework of a biblical rhetoric, looking at the speeches of Jesus, to analyse how the four speeches of Jesus may help the youth leader to address the transitory lives of young people in a credible way.

In: Journal of Youth and Theology