While reading for my Masters dissertation I rediscovered a very simple model of how youth work relates (or doesn’t) to the adult congregation.
The model is known as the ‘One Eared Mickey Mouse Model’ (Cummings-Bond, S. (1989). The One-Eared Mickey Mouse. Youthworker , 6, 76.). You can also find it in Dean, K. C., & Foster, R. (1998). The Godbearing Life. Nashville: Upper Room Books.
In my experience the model describes many churches. The work with young people exists outside what people think is the ‘core’ of the church. They are linked, just.
For many congregations the defining factor is resources. Youth work costs money. It needs resources. Adults are required to make it happen and it doesn’t contribute, at least not financially.
This all conspires to make youth work peripheral.
So, I have questions.
The first one is:
Can a ‘youth church’ sustain itself? If it can, how? Any thoughts?