About those 44 Faith Assets – John Roberto

It is important to remember that the 44 Faith Assets are descriptive not prescriptive.  They are part of a growing body of knowledge about faith maturing in youth.  They are a roadmap for developing congregations and youth ministries that promote youth of maturing faith.  The 44 Faith Assets are cumulative.  They build on each other.  The more the better for everyone involved, including the congregation, leaders, families and young people.  The key is working toward a “tipping point” where the cumulative effect of the 44 Faith Assets creates a spirit and culture that maximizes efforts to nurture youth of maturing Christian faith.

An asset building mentality counteracts so many stereotypes about youth ministry.  For example it confronts the “deficit mentality”—the popular misconception that we need to “solve the youth problem,” or that we need to intervene to help youth through their many crises.  It also counteracts the continual search for the one magic formula, activity or program that will turn a youth ministry to super star status.  Lastly it counteracts the myth that only large congregations with lots of resources and  staff  can do effective youth ministry.

In an asset building approach, every congregation has faith assets. It is only the question of how many.  An asset building approach offers tangible qualities and practices that every congregation can adopt that contribute to an effective youth ministry and nurturing youth of maturing Christian faith.

John Roberto is the Executive Director of LifelongFaith Associates- www.lifelongfaith.com, and was the Roman Catholic member of the original Exemplary Youth Ministry Study Leadership Team. The Winter 2009 issue of the journal Lifelong Faith contains an excellent overview article of the EYM Study results.

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