Martin began by outlining and painting the how he views the current state of youth ministry in the UK. He pointed to several reasons that he felt from his experience that youth ministry is suffering, here were some of them:
- Student youth worker numbers are down, for a variety of reasons
- Youth Workers are moving from Youth Ministry to Adult ministry – seeing it as a stepping stone – a lack of career progression.
- Money – generally low pay
- Less young people in Church
- Lack of biblical/theological literacy
Martin then suggested that part of the methodology dealing with the decline of youth ministry could be found in rediscovering the Spiritual Disciplines, pointing to Richard Fosters book Celebration of Discipline and his book The Beautiful Disciplines.
Martin outlined the 10 disciplines highlighted by Foster and gave some practical applications to them. He was suggesting that this could be helpful for us (the youth workers) and that we might be able to try and work this out with the young people we work with. Youthscape has also begun look at how the spiritual discipline are worked out with young people that do not attend church and have no or little faith.