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MISSIONAL THERAPY:
Towards A Missional
Hermeneutic of Care in
Youth Work/Ministry
A presentation by VICTOR COUNTED at the ...
Forthcoming Book
“Finding God Without Losing Yourself” is a book that
looks at life through the lenses of attachment and
a...
Young people have two
main needs: attachment
and authenticity
To study youth identity crisis, we would need to
look at the attachment and authenticity needs
and/or experiences of young...
Some empirical results - quantitative study
AGI-Anxiety and
AS-Self
Alienation
(r = .279, p<.01). 7%
commonality.
AGI-Avoi...
Some empirical results - qualitative study
THE SELF CONFLICT
- From an attachment contagion to a
cycle of weak self-integr...
Introducing a missional
hermeneutic...
>>>a hermeneutic of divine love grounded in the theological
principle of the missio...
1. Intro
A MISSIONAL HERMENEUTIC is an interpretive approach that
privileges the missio Dei as the key to reading and inte...
2. contd. Intro
A MISSIONAL HERMENEUTIC recognises these four
hermeneutical tasks:
➔ The Missional Direction of the Story
...
Introducing a missional
hermeneutic of care - a
missional therapy.
Imagine a hermeneutical approach that privileges the
mi...
3. A missional
hermeneutic of care
A MISSIONAL HERMENEUTIC OF CARE recognises these five
hermeneutical tasks (cf. Counted ...
Personalising the
Missional Direction of
God’s Story.
How is our story framed within the story
of God’s mission?
“The miss...
The Missional
Locatedness of the
Christian counselor or
Youth Worker.
The counselor or youth worker must
locate him/hersel...
The missio-cultural
locatedness of youth
identity crisis.
To understand the way in which issues
of youth identity crisis a...
The missional purpose
of the crises of youth
identity formation.
Seeing the stories of young people
experiencing an identi...
The prophetic
missional voice of the
youth in crisis.
Penetrating into the word-event in terms
of how the youth verbally a...
Your story is God’s story.
>>>We are in the big revelational portrait of God<<<
Missional therapy seeks to
interpret experiences of
identity crisis and help
change unhealthy thought
patterns by drawing ...
Benefits of A Missional Therapy
➔ An embodied gospel
Learning to interpret our discrete emotional conflicts within the gra...
“Whatever one think or do
with regard to youth, if it is not
supported or carried by love, it
is worth little.”
- Jurgens ...
Thank you for
your attention
For more about the stories
and ideas informing this
presentation, keep an eye on
this forthco...
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Missional Therapy

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Imagine a hermeneutical approach that privileges the missio Dei, or the mission of God, as the key to interpreting our stories of identity crisis and experiences of anxiety.

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Missional Therapy

  1. 1. MISSIONAL THERAPY: Towards A Missional Hermeneutic of Care in Youth Work/Ministry A presentation by VICTOR COUNTED at the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry Conference, Sydney Australia, 4-7 January, 2017 Published as: Counted, V. (2016). ‘Missionising Youth Identity Crisis: Towards a missional hermeneutic of coping in youth ministry practice.’ Missionalia: South African Journal of Mission Studies 44:1, pp. 85–102
  2. 2. Forthcoming Book “Finding God Without Losing Yourself” is a book that looks at life through the lenses of attachment and authenticity, as the two main needs of people. These experiences were discussed as the building blocks of our internal conflict. This conflict affects our relationship experience with God and our desire to stay true to who we are. Selected stories of conflicted youths with similar experiences were shared with the intention of drawing some real-life lessons whilst introducing a missional opportunity with which believers within a redemptive community can attain wholeness and healing in their spiritual journey.
  3. 3. Young people have two main needs: attachment and authenticity
  4. 4. To study youth identity crisis, we would need to look at the attachment and authenticity needs and/or experiences of young people. This is because when young people feel abandoned and betrayed by those who are supposed to be there for them, they often enter into a cycle of identity crisis, trying to stay true to who they are in order to deal with their relationship problems. THE “WHAT” AND “HOW” OF YOUTH IDENTITY CRISIS
  5. 5. Some empirical results - quantitative study AGI-Anxiety and AS-Self Alienation (r = .279, p<.01). 7% commonality. AGI-Avoidance and AS-Self Alienation (r = .204, p<.05). 4% of common variance. AGI-Anxiety and AS-Accepting External Influences (r = .324, p<.01). 10% of variance. Tip Attachment was measured using the Attachment to God Inventory. Assesses attachment dimensions of anxiety (48%) and avoidance (35%). Tip Authenticity Scale was used to measure dimensions of authenticity: Authentic Living (24 %), Self-alienation (11%), Accepting external influences (13%). positive (α = .806) 100 YOUTHS
  6. 6. Some empirical results - qualitative study THE SELF CONFLICT - From an attachment contagion to a cycle of weak self-integration - The Borderline Self (Masterson, 1976): self defense using unnecessary tantrums (acting out) to fight an imploding att. crisis - The Promissory Self (Moltmann, 1976): an emerging sense of promise and a response to a hurtful future/past - The Hyphenated Self (Jeroncic, 2014): manifesting positive, cut and paste images of themselves - The Religious Self (Muck, 1998): a sense of spiritual maturity and an indicator of spirituality and religious life. (For more insights read: Counted 2016) THE GOD CONFLICT - Attachment with God replaces parental attachment and compensates for a dysfunctional relationship - Insecure attachment with God (e.g. anxiety with God) linked to the attachment behavioural system (internal working models) - There is a sudden need for spiritual maturity - Experience with a divine attachment figure shadows how they stay true to themselves - Negative attachment experience with relational figures plunges the youth into a cycle of self-splitting (For more read: Counted 2016a, 2016b) 15 YOUTHS
  7. 7. Introducing a missional hermeneutic... >>>a hermeneutic of divine love grounded in the theological principle of the missio Dei, or mission of God, which sees the Scripture bearing witness to a God who is already on a mission to heal a broken world<<<
  8. 8. 1. Intro A MISSIONAL HERMENEUTIC is an interpretive approach that privileges the missio Dei as the key to reading and interpreting the bible (Hunsberger 2011). The mission of God (missio Dei) is summarised within the context of: ➔ Creation God created the heavens and the earth (cf. Gen. 1) ➔ Fall The entrance of sin into the human race (cf. Gen. 3) ➔ Israel God’s promise to restore His people through a nation ➔ The Messiah Man was reconciled back to God through a suffering and resurrected Christ. God launched a “divine rescue mission” (N.T. Wright) ➔ The Church Christ restores a broken world through the sending of his Church ➔ New Creation God redeems us and gives us new life through the person of Jesus Christ, and sends us out to the world to represent Him through the agency of the Church
  9. 9. 2. contd. Intro A MISSIONAL HERMENEUTIC recognises these four hermeneutical tasks: ➔ The Missional Direction of the Story How is a text framed within the story of God’s mission? ➔ The Missional Locatedness of the Readers Readers must locate themselves in mission - find a common ground. ➔ The Missional Engagement with Cultures How biblical texts model engagement with culture. How is the culture of that time fused into the context of the writing? ➔ The Missional Purpose of the Writings Scriptural stories and characters are outposts for advancing the gospel
  10. 10. Introducing a missional hermeneutic of care - a missional therapy. Imagine a hermeneutical approach that privileges the missio Dei, or the mission of God, as the key to interpreting our stories of identity crisis and experiences of anxiety. Hence collapsing the vast space between our story and God’s story.
  11. 11. 3. A missional hermeneutic of care A MISSIONAL HERMENEUTIC OF CARE recognises these five hermeneutical tasks (cf. Counted 2016) as well: ➔ Personalising the Missional Direction of God’s Story How is our story framed within the story of God’s mission? ➔ The Missional Locatedness of the Carer The youth worker sees him/herself in the missional promise. ➔ The missio-cultural locatedness of youth identity crisis A cultural community as the brewing ground of identity crisis. ➔ The missional purpose of the crises of youth identity formation Our stories as outposts for advancing the gospel. ➔ The prophetic-missional voice of the youth in crisis Applying a ‘prophetic pathos’ to challenge the unknown.
  12. 12. Personalising the Missional Direction of God’s Story. How is our story framed within the story of God’s mission? “The missional story starts and ends with the revelational portrait of what the future new creation in God should look like in relation to God’s character” (p. 90).
  13. 13. The Missional Locatedness of the Christian counselor or Youth Worker. The counselor or youth worker must locate him/herself in the sending of God - find a common ground in God’s missional purpose. See yourself as part of the missional promise.
  14. 14. The missio-cultural locatedness of youth identity crisis. To understand the way in which issues of youth identity crisis are embedded with a particular culture and community. It asks: ➔ How does our understanding of community and family affect the way we relate with our loved ones? ➔ What factors influence the normalisation of parental abuse within our communities?’
  15. 15. The missional purpose of the crises of youth identity formation. Seeing the stories of young people experiencing an identity crisis as outposts for advancing the gospel and having a missional purpose - a living gospel. Pastoral-caregivers can also bring insights rooted in Christian convictions hope into identity formation process.
  16. 16. The prophetic missional voice of the youth in crisis. Penetrating into the word-event in terms of how the youth verbally appropriate the meaning of their identity crisis. Testing the actual crisis of identity formation over what is most essential to it: a prophetic-missional voice. Some sort of God-control or self-regulation that is missionized.
  17. 17. Your story is God’s story. >>>We are in the big revelational portrait of God<<<
  18. 18. Missional therapy seeks to interpret experiences of identity crisis and help change unhealthy thought patterns by drawing insights rooted in missional convictions and Christian hope. A missional therapist is therefore one that is equipped to reframe stories of identity crisis into A PORTRAIT OF HOPE AND PROMISE.
  19. 19. Benefits of A Missional Therapy ➔ An embodied gospel Learning to interpret our discrete emotional conflicts within the grand narrative of God’s mission provides a crucial angle for communicating a new embodied gospel. ➔ A missional community Helps us to recognise that every experience and story shape us to serve as a missional community. ➔ Embodying the imago Dei Our stories transform us to embody the character of God in, to, and for the world. This is a form of kenosis - self-emptying of one’s will (cf. Phil. 2). ➔ A new form of worship Connects worship explicitly with our internal conflict and life in the world by establishing a missional ethos for living in a difficult world. ➔
  20. 20. “Whatever one think or do with regard to youth, if it is not supported or carried by love, it is worth little.” - Jurgens Hendriks
  21. 21. Thank you for your attention For more about the stories and ideas informing this presentation, keep an eye on this forthcoming book: FINDING GOD WITHOUT LOSING YOURSELF. I hope you’ll use these tips to make a tangible difference in the world! PS: Please seek written approval from the author prior to sharing or using the PowerPoint slides. Email: v.counted@westernsydney.edu.au VICTOR COUNTED School of Social Sciences & Psychology Western Sydney University NSW, Australia

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