The 4 Points of Contact is a framework for assessing both the needs of the young people in our communities, and the effectiveness of our programs and methods in enabling healthy growth in those areas where need exists. It was produced in order to provide a common language for discussing youth development in The Salvation Army. Drawing from a number of excellent resources, the principles expressed by the 4 Points of Contact are supported by a wealth of research and experience.
Many of the terms employed within the 4 Points framework, as well as the some of the organizational choices, were inspired by the excellent handbook Context: Engaging the Young Adults of Your Community, published by Lifeway (and available here as a free PDF). Additionally, the structure of the 4 Points was notably informed by Reclaiming Youth International’s Circle of Courage, and has been intentionally designed to incorporate the 40 Developmental Assets studied by The Search Institute in order to provide additional research-based information for those inspired to go deeper. Many of the consideration questions and suggested action steps are drawn heavily from this work.
We encourage you to dig into our interactive introduction to the 4 Points of Contact, and as you explore, to consider the youth in your ministry community. Begin to prayerfully assess whether each of the 4 Points are being adequately addressed in their lives. Evaluate where each point may already be present in your Corps community, and how more attention can be given to areas where more intentional development is needed. Attempt some of the suggested action steps found within each point, and look for ways to encourage positive change when it begins to take root. Contact the youth department staff with any questions, or to share your experiences embracing the 4 Points framework!