Just Wondering

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Not to change the subject, but did any of you find this cover of YouthWorker to be a little odd? Does the illustration represent your experience with fringe kids?

15 Responses to “Just Wondering”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous 

    is that a real magazine? ive never seen it before.

  2. Blogger J-Wild 

    Yes it is. It is put out by a consortium of YM content providers. Here is a link to the magazine web page. It's actually a great magazine, but I think they screwed up the illustration on this particular issue.

  3. Blogger CL 

    That'd be a HUGH NO! For me. Maybe for others...but. This is sort of puzzling to me...

  4. Blogger CL 

    I meant huge by the way, who's Hugh?

  5. Blogger Gman 

    By Fringe don't they mean - The disabled???

    The make-up of my group is ethnically diverse so ... but maybe it is defining it

    With articles such as

    The Birth of Capernaum
    The Call to the City
    Lessons from the Ranch
    From a Hole in the Roof ...

    I'd say that some of this reflects (Unfortunately) Fringe kids in youth ministry in which white sub-urban churches ...or rural churches ...

  6. Blogger Jovan 

    I haven't got my copy yet in the mail yet.

  7. Blogger J-Wild 

    Here is the e-mail I sent to the Editor of YouthWorker and to the illustrator Brian Smith:

    Long time reader, first time writer.

    I love YouthWorker Journal and have found it instrumental in helping me think through many issues that I deal with as a Youth Minister. I appreciate the diverse theological and social perspectives on scripture, ministry, and church that the Journal gives. You all do a great job.

    That being said, I would like to comment on the cover of the recent magazine with the title “Kids on the Fringe.” I have yet to read all the articles (since I got it yesterday) but, the illustration on the cover was enough to give me pause. To me the kid on the cover doesn’t represent a fringe kid. It appears that he is black, from the projects, and lives in an urban context complete with blight. I would hardly believe that this kid would represent the archetypical fringe kid. He definitely doesn’t in my context (NYC), but if he does in other contexts then I find that very problematic.

    What am I really saying...I am saying that the overtones of this illustration point to me that a fringe kid is someone who is black and lives in a lower socio-economic environment. I think that’s an unfair characterization of what a fringe kid is and the illustration uses two pretty strong and obvious qualifiers like race and economics in a way that isn’t really descriptive of the fringe kid.

    If the black poor kid is the common conception of a fringe kid by most youth ministries then the isolation and protectionism of the suburban church has done a great disservice to our teens and our congregations.

    I feel bad that this is the first time I have commented on a YouthWorker. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have ridden the subway or bus home saying “yes, yes, yes” in my mind as I read a compelling article. Again thank you for your work, and keep it up.


  8. Anonymous Anonymous 

    can you guys recommend some other YM magazines? im in the dark on this stuff, it seems.



  9. Blogger Brian Eberly 

    I've got my share of frindge kids, can't say any of them fit the profile on that cover. Most of mine are white upper middle class kids that "have everything" and don't have room for God in their lives

  10. Blogger CL 

    Yeah Brian, that is exactly who mine are.

  11. Blogger Aaron Geist 

    Yeah, our fringe kids usually are the ones who's parents go to church all the time.

    The outsiders come in and participate and seem to want to learn more than the regulars at times.

  12. Blogger Dennis 

    Wouldn't it have a lot to do with your situation? Maybe for some that is a fringe kid. For others, that is the normal kid. I don't think there is one "look" to a fringe kid.

  13. Blogger CL 

    Right on Dennis. I don't think there is a certain "look" for fringe kid. I think it most definitely depends on the situation.

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