If your church’s youth pastor is using this book to get ideas on how to run a Christian youth group, he will end up getting a heavy dose of contemplative spirituality, which unfortunately and most likely will be passed on to the kids in the group. When we spoke with the book’s author, Mark Yaconelli, via email in 2003, and asked him if he taught a type of prayer that required the repeating of a word or phrase, he acknowledged that yes, this was indeed what he taught.
Contemplative Youth Ministry is published by Youth Specialties and Zondervan, leaders in contemplative/emerging book publishing and has a foreword by Anne Lamott. In an article titled “Ancient-Future Youth Ministry” written by Yaconelli, he states the following: “It’s Sunday just after 5 p.m. in the youth room at Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo, California. Seven adults are sitting around a “Christ-candle” in the youth room. There’s no talking, no laughter. For 10 minutes, the only noise is the sound of their breathing.” … (Read more …)