The Conundrum

NW-721_4_12x16_10_9_2009_3_05_45_PMI believe this picture, or something similar, hung in my childhood home.  In my memory, there was a jovial, rotund monk on the far right who was laughing/ giggling at the artist’s problem.

I rediscovered the painting (artist: Toby Edward Rosenthal) recently on a visit to a local monastery hosting a workcamp. And I stood for a good ‘ol long while just a’thunking upon it.

This seems as good as any visual representation of the challenge of youth ministry today.  We want to do as good a job as possible to represent to the next generations a church we perceive as strong, vibrant… ummm, errr, ahhh, awake! Yet, to do such a thing, we are gonna have to make sure that the church is actually … ummm, errr, ahhh, awake!

And, that’s the conundrum, the problem.

Do we fear getting involved with the church because we are unsure of what mood we will find it in when it awakes?  Is it easier for us to work unencumbered by relationship/ relating to the older church, leadership, the pastor?

In some youth ministry circles, there is conversation revolving around the suggestion of post-denominational youth ministry. Yet, in Catholic circles, hospitals, religious orders, colleges are all looking anew at catholic identity.

In this day and age of the mosh-pit merging of faith in Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, our role is not to just “portray”  the Church as awake, but to ensure that it is awake.

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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