The Core Realites of Youth Ministry

This is a must read book by Mile Yaconelli about the Core Realites of Youth Ministry.

For those of you that don’t know the Core Foundation and the Core Realities are:
1. Core Foundation: The Bible

  • Biblical truth is God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16)
  • Biblical truth is a mystery (Eph. 6:19)
  • Biblical truth is a story
  • Biblical truth is alive (Heb. 4:12)
  • Biblical truth reveals and indentifies (Heb. 4:13)
  • Biblical truth interferes and instructs (cf. 2 Tim 3:16)
  • Biblical truth inspires
  • Biblical truth is a trustworthy foundation (Luke 6:47-49

The Core Realities:

1. Veracity — conformity to the truth

  • veracity shows that truth is free
  • veracity shows that truth creates honest discussion
  • veracity shows truth can be tested
  • veractiy shows that truth is resilient
  • veracity shows that truth is attractive
  • mandate:youth ministry must expose students to the life-giving truth of Jesus Christ

2. Authenticity –real or genuine

  • share yourself
  • share the whole gospel
  • ask for help
  • strive for righteousness
  • trust your uniqueness
  • individualize realtionships
  • mandate: authentic youth workers will draw teenagers to Jesus Christ (p. 45)

3. Audacity — bold, daring, courageous

  • There is an explosion of the Spirit
  • There are messy mistakes
  • There is creativity
  • there is misunderstanding
  • there is rejection
  • there is courage
  • mandate: youth ministry must push students, parents, and the chruch outside their comfort zones (p. 61)

4. Humility — gentle, meek, without arrogance, unassuming (p. 63)

  • be dependent
  • be teachable
  • be accessible
  • be flexible
  • be decreased
  • be nobody
  • mandate: youth ministry must be clothed in humility (p. 75)

5. Diversity — variety, not homogenous (hetrogenity)

  • diversity is inclusive, not exclusive
  • diversity is valued, not tolerated
  • diversity is intentional, not convient
  • types of diversity
  • 1. ethnic, 2. tribal, 3. mental and physcial, 4. generational diversity
  • mandate: youth ministry must challenge teenagers to embrace diversity

6. Sanctuary — safe place, refuge

  • sanctuary is a place of worship
  • sanctuary is place of grace
  • sanctuary is a place of safety
  • sanctuary is a place of rest
  • sanctuary is a place of growth
  • mandate: youth ministry must provide a safe place for students (p. 103)

7. Intimacy — our relationship with Jesus, a lifetime journey, intense personal soul-care

  • my soul is more important than my student’s soul (buy the book to read more about this)
  • time alone with jesus is more important than time spent with students
  • friendship is more important than discipleship
  • eternity is more important than time
  • my security is in God, not my ministry
  • the heart is more important than the head
  • the silent skkills are more effective than the noisy skills (read. p. 114-116)
  • mandate: our relationship with jesus is our youth ministry (p. 117).

8. Mystery — “the role of youth ministry is to bring teenagers into the presence of a God who is beyond words, definition, or confinement; to create opportunities for teenagers to be awed by God’s presence and stunned by God’s bigness; and to show them a God who will leave them speecheless, full of wonder and astonishment. Youth workers introduce students to a God who is more than principles and answers — we bring teenagers to the ‘shores of mystery’ (p. 120).

  • questions, not answers
  • simple and complicated
  • presence, not program
  • mandate: youth ministry must foster mystery, rediscover astonishment, and leave room for unanswered questions (p. 1290.

9. Creativity — ingenuinty, expressiveness

  • types of creativity
  • –revisioning, copying, adapting
  • enemies of creativity
  • –measurements, bad theology, technology, fear
  • methods of fostering creativty
  • 1. believe in creativty
  • your uniqueness
  • 3. refuse to give in to the creative police
  • 4. exercise student imaginations
  • 5.keep your focus on minstry
  • mandate:youth ministry must free students and youth workers to discover and express their God-given creativity (p. 141)


You have to buy this book. My little outline of the book hopefully created a hunger for the better content that awaits those who read it.

Hope this helps!


About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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