The EXEMPLARY YOUTH MINISTRY Study
What actions and activities of congregations have measurable consequences in the faith lives of young people?
That was the audacious question that the Exemplary Youth Ministry Study went after.
It was an unprecedented national study of congregations in seven denominations funded by the Lilly Foundation and completed in 2003. Vibrant Faith is honored to be holding and sharing the study results.
The remarkable initial move of the study was to identify congregations with greater numbers of maturing Christian young people, and dig into their practices. This was done with the power of both qualitative and quantitative research.
Listen to the key leaders of the study, Dr. Roland Martinson of Luther Seminary, Dr. Wes Black of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and John Roberto of Lifelong Faith Associates tell about the power of the EYM results.
Five Lasting Insights
Theology Matters: These churches believe and shared an understanding of God as living and active in our lives.
Youth Ministry Embedded in the Center of Congregational Life: While these churches had some age segregated activity, ministry with youth was central to the whole of congregational life and something that the whole congregation saw as their job—everyone a Youth Minister.
Leadership Matters: This study named the reality that the lead Pastor was the chief youth minister—whether there was other youth ministry staff or not.
Size or Location of Congregation Didn’t Matter. There were Exemplary Congregations of all sizes and in a wide variety of geographical settings.
These churches had each found a unique missional focus for their work.