by Len Kageler
In simpler, more homogenous times, youth ministry was a relatively straightforward activity. The church's youth gathered (occasionally inviting their unchurched friends from school), played together, sang together and listened together to a message from a bright, engaging youth minister, selecting from a relatively defined set of topics: "What does it mean to follow Jesus when it comes to _______?" Now Christian youth must make sense of their faith, with its exclusive claims, in light of their close friends who are Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, "other" or even "none." And increasingly other religions are taking their cues for rooting and establishing their youth from Christian ministry practices, so that our kids are being invited to outreach events sponsored by other faiths. Veteran youth minister and researcher Len Kageler digs into the data surrounding this exciting multifaith era and offers surprising confidence that our kids can be guided into mature Christian faith while simultaneously learning to love their neighbors of other religions.