Youth Ministry Process

Many people think that youth ministry is “just” Religious Education (Catechism, CCD, Formation, or whatever you want to call it) but actually Youth Ministry is much more than preparation of a Sacrament. Over the next few weeks we will print our goals and objectives for working with teens in the parish.

Goals

Eight Components of a Comprehensive Youth Ministry Program outlined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

● Our faith calls us to work for justice and serve those in need.

● The ministry of Justice & Service empowers young people to

work for justice by concrete efforts to address the causes of human

suffering; and infuses the concepts of justice, peace, and human

dignity into all areas of our youth ministry efforts.

What can the parish community do to support our teens in the

area of Justice and Service? Be aware of the Catholic Social

Teachings of the Catholic Church. Many of the teachings are

counter cultural and we sometimes ignore the teachings we don’t

like…and turn to the service (or charity) part of Justice and Service.

Our teens are involved in many aspects of this ministry. Justice

and Service is more than collecting food and giving away clothes

we don’t like anymore.

 

● The ministry of Evangelization is the energizing core of all ministry

with young people. All of the relationships, ministry components,

and programs must proclaim their faith. They must invite young

people into a deeper relationship with our Lord and empower them to live as disciples.

Evangelization of our young people includes:

● Witnessing our faith in all aspects of OUR lives – offering ourselves

and our parish community as living models of the Christian faith in practice.

● Reaching out to young people by meeting them in their various life

situations, building relationships, providing healing care and

concern, offering genuine responses to their needs and inviting them

into a deeper relationship with our community and our Lord.

● Invites young people personally into the life and mission of our

faith community so that they may experience the support, nurture

and care necessary to live as Christians.

● Challenges young people to follow Jesus in a life of discipleship,

shaping their lives in the vision, values and teachings of Jesus and

living His mission throughout their daily lives.

● Calls young people to evangelize to other young people, their

families and communities.

What can the parish community do to help support our teens in

the area of Evangelization? Become an evangelizer! Don’t sit back

and complain about things, be an agent of hope and spread the

“Good News” of Jesus Christ and promote the parish.
 

● The ministry of Leadership Development calls forth, affirms,

and empowers the diverse gifts, talents, and abilities of adults

and young people in our faith community. Leaders must be

trained and encouraged. To do this we must have a wide diversity

of ADULT AND YOUTH leaders in a variety of roles.

● The ministry of Leadership Development empowers all young

people for leadership and ministry with their peers-in schools,

parishes, and civic communities.

● We affirm and support them by giving youth opportunities where

they can contribute.

What can the parish community do to help with Leadership Development?

Model good leadership and offer your skills to the

ministry whatever they may be. Help out financially with the festivals

and national conferences so our youth can attend no matter

what their family’s financial state is like.
 

The Ministry of Pastoral Care is a compassionate presence

in imitation of Jesus’ care of people, especially those who are hurting and in need.

● Collaborates with the wider community in providing

direct support or aid to the community and especially to

youth at risk in the form of programs, services, service

projects, and counseling.

● The Ministry of Pastoral Care develops life skills of

adolescents, such as relationship building, assertiveness’,

nonviolent conflict resolution, decision-making, and planning.

● Guide’s young people in making important life decisions.

● Fosters spiritual development of young people.

● Creates network of care and support for young people.

● Strengthens family life by assisting families to improve

family skills such as communication, decision-making,

problem solving, and reconciliation.

● Provides and connects adolescents and families to

support services, referral resources, and self help groups

to promote healing during times of loss, sudden change,

unexpected crisis, and problems, personal or family transitions.

 

● The ministry of Prayer and Worship celebrates and deepens

young people’s faith. Mass, prayer services, praying and more

awakens their awareness of the spirit at work in their lives;

incorporates young people more fully into the sacramental life of

the church.

The ministry of Prayer and Worship...

● Promotes participation of youth in liturgy.

● Provides opportunities for creative prayer with young people

in peer, family, and intergenerational settings.

● Allows music and song to express the vitality of young people.

● Provides young people with effective and intentional education

and formation for liturgy worship and sacraments.

● Apprentices and trains young people in liturgical ministries

(lector or Eucharistic training).

What can the parish community do to enrich Prayer and Worship with

teens? Attending Mass on a regular basis and fully participating by singing

and listening. Letting teens see you praying in restaurants and family

events. Taking time in Adoration with the Blessed Sacrament or to pray the

Stations of the Cross. Do we only find time to attend Mass if nothing else

is going on or want to sleep in on Sunday? Remembering that the

Eucharistic Celebration is the CENTER of our faith.

 

● Promoting and protecting the sanctity of human life as a Gift

from God.

● Promoting and supporting each individual within our

community of teens as well as the disadvantaged, the sick, the

elderly, the unborn, and the poor.

● Empowering our young people by giving them a voice and

calling them to responsibility and accountability around the

issues that affect them and their future.

How can the parish community be Advocates for the youth, the

parish? We must demand quality education and support our teachers

even if don’t have children/teens in public school. Be agents

of change with life from “womb to tomb”.

 

● The Ministry of Education of young people helps them to develop

a deeper relationship with Jesus and increase their knowledge

of the core content of the Catholic faith. It helps to enrich and

expand their understanding of the Scriptures and Sacred

Traditions and understanding of Faith.

● The Ministry of Education recognizes that Faith development

is a lifelong process. Therefore provides developmentally and

age appropriate content and processes around key themes,

interests, and concerns of young people.

● Education integrates knowledge of practical skills for living

our Faith in the world today.

● Education promotes young people and family faith development

through a variety of program approaches.

What can the parish community do to support Education/

Catechesis? Try to remember that the “message” doesn’t change,

but the delivery of the message. Many people grew up with black

and white TV and the Baltimore Catechism and now our kids have

many visuals on their mobile devices. We need to reach teens in

new ways with the same unchanging Gospel Message. Faith

formation and education is LIFE LONG. Drop the idea of preparing

for a Sacrament then exiting until the next Sacrament is needed.

The parish community is a family and we need each other, young

and old, to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.