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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Abstract

MOSER, Kenneth A.  and  NEL, Malan. The connection between youth ministry's division of evangelism and discipleship, and the lack of retention of youth in North American churches. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2019, vol.40, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2074-7705.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.2020.

The evangelical church in North America is facing a crisis in its failure to retain young people. Research has shown that young people are dropping out of the church and they are not only leaving but also failing to return once they are older. This crisis did not appear in a vacuum; it is the result of the church's movement towards a style of programming that has created a division between evangelism and discipleship. This style of programme not only seeks to reach those outside of the church at the expense of those youth in the church but also creates a dichotomy between who we are (our identity) and what we do (our mission). The church must seek to remove this dichotomy between identity and mission and utilise strategies that work with our identity rather than against it. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article is an interaction between practical theology and pastoral practice in Christian ministry. The crisis of youth leaving evangelical churches in North America is because of the dichotomy between mission and identity. Once this dichotomy is erased, mission will be a natural outworking of identity in youth ministry.

Keywords : youth ministry; retention; identity; mission; evangelism; discipleship.

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