Theological Framework for (Youth) Ministry

Hey everyone… So I figured since I’m a seminary student and spend most of my time writing papers, it might not be a bad idea to share some of them.

This is one that I wrote for a class I took at Luther on the theological frameworks of ministry with youth and families. I guess I’ll let it speak for itself. If it gets to jargon-y I apologize…. Wasn’t my aim. Feel free to comment and tell me I’m completely off my rocker if that’s what you really think. It’s to start a conversation, I guess. Here goes…



  1. Nice work Eric. I guess you were paying attention in Dr. Jacobson’s class last year, I hear a lot of her stuff in this. Thanks for posting this stuff, by the way. I guess I miss having class discussions and talking theology, I think blogging and commenting on other peoples’ blogs may need to be a habit I keep after seminary, I hope you keep it up.

    I just have few comments. You are right on about the social media thing. This is something that I’m just beginning to realize myself, but it is hard for kids raised with the hyperlinked reality of the Internet to just sit and read a paper book. We can lament that, or realize the incredible curiosity that it reveals. Kids know that there is more information available if they have a question about something and just looking at a book doesn’t provide that.

    I also like your point about “teaching to a test”. My experience with the confirmation kids here has been that they often try to get the “right answer” instead of sharing their own answer. Middle schoolers are constantly being judged and tested in social interactions and in class, wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where they knew they could just “be”?

    On page 6 “God comes… down to experience all things human so that we would not have to do it alone.” Great incarnational soteriology, I will steal that line.

    On page 9, the idea of a “community of suffering” is good, but I think it needs to be bigger than that. It needs to be a community that is willing to talk about suffering, willing to be authentic and open about all aspects of life, including suffering and joy. That’s true of the Trinity too, suffering enters the Godhead through Christ and God is a “community of suffering” but God is also a “community of love” and a million other things.

  2. Thanks for your response, Josh. I’m glad to supply the space to talk theology and other nerdy stuff. There’s definitely a lot to the newer models of ministry, but you make some good points. The authenticity in community and just providing a space to “be”, as you say, are definitely needed in working with young people.

Please keep your comments positive. I reserve the right to delete rude or insulting comments. If your comment is critical, please make sure it is also constructive. Thank you.

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