First Third Conversations

Reflections on "Anticipating the Kingdom: Engaging students in missional faith formation" with Todd Hobart

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of Distributed Learning Children, Youth and Family Luther Seminary

Todd Hobart does an amazing job of a missional reading of his church setting, St. Matthews Lutheran in Renton WA.  This essay is a draft that will be included in an upcoming book:


Reflecting on the “flat” cultural expectations in our world of user-generated content, one great take away Todd laid out is this table of what he calls “Open Source Leadership”

Bureaucratic leadership

Open source leadership

Youth ministers are the source of vision and ministry ideas for the church

Students, volunteers, and parents are the source for vision and ministry ideas

Youth ministers require many decisions to run through them

Youth ministers require relatively few decisions to be made by them

Youth ministers use chaperones and students to accomplish goals

Volunteers are not “chaperones” who are recruited by the youth minister, but are instead participants and innovators with students who create and implement ministry themselves

Youth ministers seek to persuade people to give their time/talents/treasures to the youth ministry

People give their time, talents, and treasures because they are invested participants, instead of disengaged consumers who must be persuaded

Excellence, efficiency, and control are valued

Openness, participation, and freedom to create are valued

Consumers are made through this model

Invested participants are made through this model

These types were inspired by, and partially adapted from: J.R. Kerr, "Open Source Activists: The surprising impact."

What a critical and potentially faith-forming move for students and adults alike!

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