Wake up youth workers! We are in a global food crisis, and we who work with youth have a voice to do something about it. But, are we?
The Rethinking Youth Ministry Blog has a great post with questions about how to address issues of global poverty beyond an annual 30 hour Famine. Somehow we need to find a way to enable youth to deeply connect with issues central to the Kingdom of God in ways that are effective.
The Big Ear Creations blog addressed some of these issues through quotes from Tony Campolo on macro economics and youth ministry. The blog quotes Campolo in an interview with Kara Powell. He states,
“I find most youth workers haven't a clue as to what macro economics is all about and how macro economic factors influence the poverty, and create the poverty in third world countries. They don't understand why third world peoples are angry with America...They hate a powerful country that is able to control international trade in such a way as to increase poverty in third world while it aggrandizes itself. Those insights into how things operate on the macro level and how macro factors in politics and in economics in third world countries and in our own country foster poverty are totally beyond the comprehension of most youth workers and that's a very sad thing indeed...”
Campolo then provides a scathing review of youth workers:
“Point blank, I am not impressed with youth workers. I find that they don't know what's going on in the world. That youth work becomes a matter of fun and games. When I go the National Youth Workers Convention I get more depressed every year. Because what I find is what the youth workers are really interested in is techniques. They don't want to deal with issues. They don't want to deal with the hard nosed facts of what is going on in the world.”
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Tony – and as I revealed over the last couple of weeks his criticism is more or less accurate for my own ministry, especially as it existed before I really understood some models for transformational development.
In the quote above Tony mentions macro issues of economics. In my next post I will go back to Jayakumar Christian to address the complexity of dealing with poverty on a macro level…