It's all about language : towards and intercultural youth ministry.

Date of Award


Document Type



Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


In light of the postmodern mind of the Twenty-first Century and the impact of globalization and technology the church faces enormous challenges. Within an intergenerational congregation, adolescents and young adults struggle to construct their religious identity and make sense of their faith tradition. The influence of secularism is most evident among emerging generations at church. The Christian Education curriculum and the traditional worship service seem to have lost their appeal. Further, a language barrier seems to be present that can hinder the communication of the Gospel message. The challenge undertaken by this project was to find a common language of communication to present the Gospel in an attractive way through a Christian Education Experience. Furthermore, I hoped to make it meaningful to young adults in order to impact their own lives and the larger community. I identified parables as the biblical paradigm to follow but in the project time ascribed these to the narratives found in popular culture and among the group of young men and women who are part of the youth ministry. Participants had the opportunity to engage in conversation and decide which topic to study, as well as the time and place where they would like to meet. Sunday Bible School turned into a series of educational experiences, which ignited conversation and created a liminal space. Through this experience participants renewed their social and religious identity based on personal and collective faith experience. As a final result, what began as a project initiated by the Doctor of Ministry Candidate gave birth to a project of their own that has had an impact upon their own faith experience as well as that of the larger congregation.