Back to the Future: A Historical Perspective on Youth Ministry

From: Volume 3NS, Issue 2: Fall 1999 Pages 17-30


A survey of the history of Christian education shows that from the apostolic church forward, the church has taken the education of believers as one of her primary tasks. Following the influence of Horace Bushnell, the modern church in the United States has continued in its task of nurture. But the emergence of "adolescence" at the turn of the last century caused an increased sensitivity to issues related to youth, and the need for specialized ministry geared to the needs of adolescence. The contemporary need is to regain the vision for youth ministry which has evangelism as its primary concern, and not simply the model of nurture from past generations.



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