Youth ministry has all but deleted ecclesiology from its theological radar. Youth programs focus primarily on discipleship and worship. Of course these are central aspects; but, they are not the sole ones. They flow out of 2,000 years of ecclesiological evolution starting with the churches the Apostles left behind. It is essential to teach Christian teens that ecclesiology – the way we understand church/ministry – preceded the biblical canon by over 300 years.
This chapter invites, encourages, and challenges youth leaders to more intentionally reflect of their ecclesiological assumptions and thinking. Hopefully, this will provide new perspectives, teaching strategies and disciplines which will with youth ministry nurture and discipleship.
Fernando Arzola (PhD, Fordham University) is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of religion at Nyack College. He is the author of Evangelical Christian Education: Mid-Twentieth-Century Foundational Texts; Exploring Worship: Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox Perspectives; and Toward a Prophetic Youth Ministry: Theory and Praxis in Urban Context; and coauthor of Foundations for Excellence. He founded the Urban Family Empowerment Center, a holistic community center in the Bronx. He is married to Jill and has a college-age daughter, Nicole.
View One: Gospel Advancing Ministry Model
View Two: Reformed Youth Ministry Model
View Three: Adoption Youth Ministry Model
View Four: Ecclesial Youth Ministry Model
View Five: Family-Focused Youth Ministry Model