Missionising youth identity crisis : towards a missional hermeneutic of coping in youth ministry practice
CITATION: Counted, V. 2016. Missionising youth identity crisis : towards a missional hermeneutic of coping in youth ministry practice. Missionalia: Southern African Journal of Missiology, 44(1):85–102, doi:10.7832/44-1-141.
The original publication is available at http://missionalia.journals.ac.za
The intention of this paper is to interpret the ontological conditions of youth identity crisis missionally. This is first done by conceptualising identity crisis as a psychological phenomenon using frameworks of authenticity and attachment to explain the impact of early attachment abuse, abandonment depression, insecure attachment anxiety with God, and self-regulation on the identity formation of the youth. Secondly, the paper introduces a missional hermeneutic that provides an interpretative framework for coping with the crises of identity amongst young people. A missional hermeneutic for coping with the crisis of identity formation, therefore, elaborates on the missional basis of biblical interpretation as a powerful framework within which to interpret a skewed, conflicted identity. The author herewith proposes a missional opportunity that can activate the missional consciousness of young people in their time of crisis and identity formation. Furthermore, the author insists that this missional methodology can be a very useful strategy for producing therapeutic change in young people and can help youth ministry workers and pastoral caregivers to reframe the crisis of youth identity from the perspective of 'missio Dei'.