Saturday, February 24, 2007

Staying Alive

Discussion Questions for
Chapters 3-6 in
Mark Yaconelli's Contemplative Youth Ministry
Feel free to respond to some or all of these questions. Once you've posted, be sure to leave one another comments.

Chapter 3: Staying Alive
Yaconelli talks about the deepest hopes we have for youth. What is the deepest hope you have for the youth with whom you work?

According to Yaconelli, what is the primary question youth are asking? Do you agree? If so, how do you hear youth asking this question? If you disagree, then please explain why.

Chapter 4: Becoming a Good Receiver
What are the two steps to being a good receiver? Summarize each step in one sentence and then give an example of how you have successfully practiced each step and an example of how you've failed at each step.

Chapter 5: Allowing God to Love Us
Yaconelli offers a list of dichotomies in order to better explain the difference between a ministry that grows out of anxiety and one that grows out of love. Which dichotomy do you think is most important for us to be aware of? Why?

There are two practices in this chapter which Mark offers as ways to allow God to love us. What are the pros and cons of each practice or prayer exercise?

Chapter 6: From Prayer to Presence
“In my work with numerous youth ministry programs over the past 10 years, I’ve become convinced that the more we engage in contemplative prayer the more we are able to be present to young people.” Why does Mark believe this to be true? Do you agree? Why or why not?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Practicing the Presence of Jesus

Introduction: Practicing the Presence of Jesus

What is Yaconelli's presupposition about the current state of American youth culture and why "contemplative youth ministry" is so important? Do you agree or disagree with him? Give an example from your own experience with teens that supports your point of view.

Chapter 1: Teen Angst and Adult Anxiety

What Yaconelli is saying about anxiety in this chapter is somewhat controversial. Not everyone agrees that most youth ministry comes from a place of anxiety. Find, and quote, a sentence or two from this chapter with which you either agree or disagree and explain why.

Chapter 2: Life Without Expectations

In this chapter Mark describes a type of "youth ministry conversion" experience where his eyes are opened to a new reality for his ministry with youth. On page 59 he shares some of the questions which were rolling through his head upon reentering his youth ministry after this conversion.

Share your answer to these questions in relation to the place where you are working with youth.

  • If God is alive and present, then how is God moving within the ministry?
  • If God is so available, then how is God present to each of these kids?

On these dates I will post questions pertaining to these chapters.
  • February 9th and 16th - Introduction, Chapters 1-2
  • February 23rd - Chapters 3-6
  • March 2nd - Chapters 7-10
  • March 9th - Chapters 11-14