What Works with Youth Today?

Mercer, Joyce Ann. "What Works with Youth Today?" Clergy Journal 72, no. 5 (March 1996), 4-8.

Mercer emphasizes ministry "with" rather than "to" youth to foster skills such as biblical interpretation, critical thinking, relationship skills, and imagination. These develop in a context of youth as part of the church and its mission, not as an object of church programs. One important new direction is "service learning," which is a way of thinking that helps youth learn experientially. In this survey of issues important in youth ministry, Mercer identifies three future directions: the new importance of ecumenism and global focus; an emphasis on "usable faith" that can help youth face everyday problems with integrity; and the inclusion of adults who model for them courage, compassion, and faithfulness.