Leaving It All in Ruins

roman-city-ruins-dougga  Brian at Rethinking Youth Ministry recently commented about a survey that he received that asked this question: Imagine that you were tasked with ruining (yes, ruining) a vibrant youth ministry within 12 months, all while appearing to be trying to keep it afloat. How do you tactically dismantle it? (Tricky one. Think backwards.)

His response:  “I would focus most of our efforts on offering high energy, technology centered, entertainment-fueled programs that attracted lots of teens, but give only passing nods to things like Bible study, issues related to justice, or talk of servanthood. I’d make a point of always talking up the number of teens we had at our gatherings without ever talking about the substance of our programs (because there wouldn’t be any). Then, when I had the program built up with big attendance numbers,

in the 12th month I’d suddenly drop all the fun programming and move instead to hardcore Bible study and sermons, telling the youth what they should believe and what will happen if they don’t. That should do the trick.”

For me, I would slowly make it all about my own special relationship with young people, to the detriment of relationships between the kids and God or the kids and the Church (other adults),  Soon, a “in” group of kids would be developed as I just can’t reach them all by my lonesome. After that, you pick:
  1) leave the position for a better opportunity;
  2) take a solid two month leave; or
  3) watch ‘em graduate

What about you?  How would you go about ruining a vibrant youth ministry in just a year’s time? <image source>

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.


D. Scott Miller


D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.



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