Training Volunteers to Effectively Make Disciples of Troubled Youth in the Emerging Postmodern Culture
One of the great opportunities for the Christian community in an emerging postmodern culture will be the renewed potential for incarnational ministry to troubled youth. For over a half century the evangelical church in America has failed to significantly impact the problem of delinquency. This has not always been the reality. Yet current research pertaining to the relationship between religion and delinquency shows that when contextual variables are considered the church can have an inverse effect upon delinquency. In other words, the practice of religion does have something positive to offer troubled youth.
While it is has traditionally been assumed that religion is an important factor in inhibiting various types of social deviance, the practical application relating to making disciples within the emerging evangelical church has often been ignored. Furthermore, almost no attention has been given to how these socializing factors relate to emerging postmodern trends and how they, in turn, could be used to facilitate volunteers teaching troubled youth how to become followers of Jesus Christ.
The real-world problem addressed in this dissertation is: How can the evangelical church effectively train and enable volunteers to make disciples of troubled youth within an emerging postmodern culture? The author shows that one of the best solutions to the problem, given the current reality of non-involvement in most evangelical churches, is to train and enable volunteers online how to understand and utilize emerging postmodern trends to make disciples of troubled youth.
The dissertation begins with a narrative. It establishes the problem typically faced by many volunteers attempting to make disciples of troubled young inside the evangelical church. This section then delineates the primary reasons that lie at the heart of why so many evangelical churches struggle to enable and train volunteers to make disciples of troubled youth. Section 2 outlines what the church has attempted to do to train volunteers in this regard. It shows that the current proposed solutions and resources within the evangelical community are minimal and rarely consider the socialization needs of troubled youth.
Chapter 3 articulates the missional significance of enabling volunteers to make disciples of troubled youth and the merit of utilizing emerging EPIC trends in this regard. Chapters 4 through 7 then describe a practical solution to the problem of enabling and training volunteers how to minister to troubled youth by making use of these emerging EPIC trends in the form of an online interactive website. Chapter 8 outlines the project specifications, noting budget, format, design, scope and audience. Chapter 9 is a postscript that considers changes and future developments that will need to be made to improve how volunteers are found, trained, and enabled to make use of the emerging EPIC trends in their efforts to disciple troubled youth.