Are Australians ahead of America in ministry?

I have just walked out of the Peter Corney Lecture at Ridley College in Melbourne where Ken Moser addressed the gathering with a few observations about the Youth Ministry landscape.  If you don’t know who Ken Moser is, he is an American who came to Australia, worked here in a number of settings and now works in Canada.  He has written many good books from his time in Australia which have that Australian attitude of doing stuff that works.

Whilst I can’t quote Ken word for word I want to share a thought with you all from his talk but here are few points to keep in mind:

  1. Traditionally Australians have looked to American for the Youth ministry model, bought the books and hired them as guest speakers as “the expert”.
  2. The key American practitioners are all writing that the youth ministry model is no longer working as the society becomes increasingly post Christian.
  3. Australia was never as Christian as America
  4. Australia moved into a post Christian society 10-20 years ago depending on the view point you take.

So here is the big idea:

Why are we looking to America who is 20 years behind us for what is coming next?

Whilst I can’t remember the exact wording, Ken is suggesting that in fact Australia should and can lead American youth ministry to what comes next.

After the lecture I had the privileged of taking to Peter Corney himself, who started ministry in 1960 and has influenced youth ministry in Melbourne.  His perspective was that ministry has always changed and evolved similar to the down turn in the great Sunday School movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

So whilst I usually like to blog with you about a solution, tonight I thought I would share with you these thoughts and admit that I am as keen as ever to work with other Aussies to think though what’s next.  So please leave a comment to add to the conversation about what comes next.


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