The State of Youth Ministry in Canada

Hey friends – Here’s the essence of a little blurb I wrote today to put in the Canadian Youth Workers Convention Notebook for Vancouver.

The State of Youth Ministry in Canada!
Finally! The numbers have been crunched. The thousands (11, 557) of open-ended sentence completions have been read, re-read, and digested. The charts have been drawn, the summaries are written and the book is done.

For the first time in the history of youth ministry in Canada we have a comprehensive, current portrait of the men and women who care for young people across our nation and the contexts in which they do their ministry. The voices of nearly 800 youth workers are heard in this project that explores a wide range of issues related to the discipline of youth ministry. One of the elements that made this project particularly fascinating was that it invited four distinct groups of youth workers to speak their minds and expose their hearts. We heard from paid church youth workers, paid Christian youth organization staff, volunteers from across the country, and former paid youth workers. The differing points-of-view from these groups makes for some interesting reading and discussion.

Saturday afternoon we will unpack the findings together as a way of opening the next round of conversations. We’ll share what we think we heard youth workers saying and invite feedback to ensure that we heard correctly. We’ll move to the crucial place of asking the, “so what – now what” questions to identify the immediate implications of the assessment. Once the report has been tabled we’ll create opportunities for participants to get together in groups for an hour or so to reflect on the findings in a more specific and targeted way. We’ve looked in the mirror, now it’s time to respond to what we’ve seen.

This is a landmark moment in Canadian youth ministry history. Let’s make sure we’re all in on the conversation.

Thanks – Hopefully that brings you up to speed. Pass it on –

We’re encouraged! If you have questions please get back to us.


Marv Penner



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