I think I’m going to spend some more time thinking out loud as to how youth ministry can be manipulative and, in turn how we can face up to the need to change. I’ll also spend a bit of time thinking out loud about our our theological and ecclesiological frameworks intersect with this need for change.
A friend of mine over an ichat session said that if we were to google mind control techniques what we’d find is a number of youth ministry tactics, and I believe that there’s a lot of truth to his comment which has convinced me that we need to talk this through somehow in the hope that something different can come out of it.
It’s not best practice to be manipulative, it just isn’t, no matter how important you think your mission is, or the need to reach out to young people in order to turn them to faith. To a world that is manipulated to love brands, things and experiences that promise transcendence but fail to deliver we need to be speaking and acting for a God who’s love is not manipulative, who’s love is truly holy.