Presentation on theme: "Catholic Youth Ministry: A New Map for the New Millennium"— Presentation transcript:
1 Catholic Youth Ministry: A New Map for the New Millennium Youth Ministry Leadership PresentationSponsored by theNational Federation for Catholic Youth MinistryWelcome to the youth ministry leadership presentation sponsored by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.This presentation is designed to be shared with youth and adult leaders involved in all ministries of your Catholic community. It charts the vision of Catholic youth ministry in the United States. Further information and resources to support this presentation and youth ministry in your community may be found online at
2 Youth Ministry Successes: Context – Vision - Structure Today’s presentation is designed to look at models where youth ministry is successful. In order to grasp the growth of Catholic youth ministry we will review the beginnings of Catholic youth ministry in United States. The presentation outlines the vision for Catholic youth ministry including the three goals and eight components from Renewing the Vision. The presentations concludes with practical resources to develop structures of youth ministry that involve the entire parish and reach out to youth in multiple ways.
3 Mapping the Territory: Old Maps CYOCCSYCSSEARCHTECSome of the old maps for Catholic youth ministry were program based. They offered a designed program and invited youth to participate. These activities were often hosted at the parish. They focused on a specific structure or program. The CYO, Catholic Youth Organization, grew to have a structure of officers similar to a school class model. These organized activities included organizations such as:CYO – Catholic Youth OrganizationCCD – Confraternity of Christian DoctrineYCS – Young Catholic StudentsSEARCH – Search for Christ retreat movementTEC – Teens Encounter Christ movementFurther history about CYO follows:1930s: CYO Begins The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) began in 1930 as an athletic program for elementary and high school youth in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Sheil founded the CYO as a parish-based program. His experiences as a prison chaplain led him to see the beneficial impact of the athletic program on the prisoners. The program emphasized training youth in boxing and only later expanded to include other sports. In 1932, the CYO Center was established in Chicago and in 1937 the Catholic Youth Bureau was established in Washington.1940s: National Catholic Youth Council Unifies Separate Groups In 1940, the Vatican asked the bishops of the United States to unite the separate groups of Catholic youth in a “National Catholic Youth Council in order to better promote Christian ideals and better safeguard the young from the many pitfalls they encounter.”The National Council of Catholic Youth was formed shortly after and included a College and University Section and a Diocesan Section. The latter included parish youth councils associated with the Council through respective dioceses. The first convention was held in Cincinnati in 1951.In these times youth ministry followed the model of CYO. If CYO was not present in the parish activities for youth the parishes often relied on what was found in the Catholic Schools or parish religious education programs (CCD).
4 Mapping the Territory: Old Maps Entertainment centeredInformation centeredYouth ministry leader centeredYouth centeredYouth ministry utilizing these old maps would often gather young people for very specific activities:Entertainment – CenteredYouth were gathered to be entertained with ice-breakers, games and music. This style of youth ministry tried to get the attention of youth by competing for their attention. The competition included TV, music, movies, and busy schedules.Information-CenteredThis style of youth ministry often gathered youth in a classroom style setting to teach about faith. Specific lessons guided the sessions. They tended to focus on one style of learning and typically followed the student-teacher model.Youth Ministry Leader – CenteredIn these situations the youth ministry leader fostered an environment where everything revolved around them. They would be the center of attention during any youth gathering. They would play the music, run the games, lead all discussions, and decide what the activities and events would be.Youth – CenteredThis model encouraged youth to figure out, on their own, what they wanted to do. Gatherings would not typically include other members of the parish. They would tend to be more focused on social activities rather than content oriented or tied into the ongoing life of the parish.
5 Youth Group Model Youth Group One-eared Mickey Model Parish Community Starts with agroup and asksothers to joinParish CommunityAssumes:-that youth needs are similar-that youth like to join groups-that youth are available at thesame time-that one or a few adults canmeet the needs of the groupIn the book, The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending in Youth Ministry, written by Dean and Foster the concept of an unhealthy youth group model surfaced. It was called the ‘one-eared Mickey”. The parish decides it needs a youth group. They start a group and then ask others to join. There are several assumptions based in this model that we would not normally assume for adult activities in a parish. The youth group assumptions include 1) that youth needs are similar 2) that youth like to join groups 3) that youth are available at the same time 4) that one or a few adults can meet the needs of the group.The danger of this approach is that the youth group is set apart from the parish community. The parish may know that there is a youth group but they are not involved in any way. Some youth may feel a part of the youth group but that does not necessarily mean that they feel connected to the larger parish community.Dean and Foster identify families, congregations, and mentors as holy ground where young people have the support to follow God. Healthy youth ministry therefore helps young people to make these connections rather than providing for something set apart.
6 Mapping the Territory Today’s territory = The Millennial Generation 1) How do you know that our ministry with young people is effective?2) When youth ministry is at its best, when it’s really working, what are young people doing?Small group discussion -Young people today are a part of the millennial generation. Our maps have changed and so have our young people. With this in mind we would like to invite you to break into small groups to discuss the following two questions (the facilitator needs to decide how many will be in each group based on the number attending.)How do you know that our ministry with young people is effective?When youth ministry is at its best, when it’s really working, what are young people doing?
7 Mapping the Territory When youth ministry is at its best, when it’s really working,what are young people doing?Small group insight…After a certain period of time (5 to 7 minutes) gather small groups and ask for their input. It would be helpful to have newsprint to record the comments for all to see. This works well when you ask a participant to serve as the recorder for these comments.
8 Comprehensive Youth Ministry A New Map:Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic YouthMinistry, USCCB, 1997Considering all of our responses it is good to know that there is a new map for Catholic youth ministry in the United States. The U.S. Bishops’ issued a new document called: Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Renewing the Vision highlighted three goals and eight components that provide the ways to chart ministry with young people. This is a key document for every parish and anyone who interested in youth ministry."What is needed today is a Church which knows how to respond to the expectations of young people. Jesus wants to enter into dialogue with them and, through his body which is the Church, to propose the possibility of a choice which will require a commitment of their lives. As Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus, so the Church must become the traveling companion of young people.Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day 1995, Philippines
9 Comprehensive Youth Ministry A New Map:Link between parish life and young people.Renewing the Vision provides a shift away from the “one eared Mickey” approach to youth ministry. The goals and components of youth ministry are based upon the important link between parish life and young people. It encourages the entire parish to realize that they have a part to play in effective youth ministry. Youth should have mentors in the parish with whom they learn about and share in the various ministries of the parish. Youth are members of the parish and as such are welcome to all parish events. These links provide important relationships which help young people to become happy, healthy and holy young adults.
10 Comprehensive Youth Ministry A New Map:Link between parish life and young people.Everyone is responsible.Youth ministry does not fall to a staff or volunteer position. It involves the entire community. Everyone is responsible. It is up to everyone to invite, encourage, support and participate in some part of youth ministry.
11 Comprehensive Youth Ministry A New Map:Link between parish life and young people.Everyone is responsible.Parish life is the curriculum.The life of the parish, it’s liturgical cycle, the celebration of the Eucharist and the breaking open of the word of God represent the key focal points for all ministry. Youth ministry is nourished by the ongoing life of the parish. The times of celebration and the times of mourning also affect the lives of our youth. Young people learn from the behaviors modeled in their community. They are not just the future of the church they are vital and active members of the church today.
12 Comprehensive Youth Ministry A New Map:Link between parish life and young people.Everyone is responsible.Parish life is the curriculum.Youth groupINGS.The new map encourages not just one youth group but rather youth groupings. Offering a variety of activities throughout the year will attract different youth to different events. The parish typically hosts more than one event or activity for adults due to their different interests. Youth also have different interests which should be a key factor in developing a comprehensive approach to youth ministry.
13 Comprehensive Youth Ministry A New Map:Link between parish life and young people.Everyone is responsible.Parish life is the curriculum.Youth groupINGS.TARGET: All young people.When looking at a new map one often sees new territory. In the case of youth ministry it is vital to reach out to all young people. This means considering the needs of young people that are not in the parish. It also means being present to young people where they are. Reaching out to young people is vital to comprehensive youth ministry.
14 Renewing the Vision GOAL #1 To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.Goal 1The first goal of youth ministry is “to empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.” (RTV 9). Young people are “searching for a noble adventure”, a compelling and challenging vision of life, and a cause worth their commitment. They hunger to hear the Good News that finds response in discipleship. As their companions on this spiritual journey, some of the ways the Church fulfills this first goal of youth ministry is by ...Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus through witness and word to young people.Enabling young people to live as disciples through their involvement in service, ministry, and leadership opportunities.Providing young people the faith skills for discipleship
15 Renewing the Vision It’s about discipleship: Everything that we do with young people in the Church today should be assessed through the lenses of evangelization and discipleship.We need to adopt approaches that are proven to impact faith and discipleship.Sharing our experiences of faith with young people and encouraging them to be in relationship with Christ offers the basic starting point of all ministry. Helping young people to build faith skills, to learn about Jesus, to discover their gifts and share them within the community all constitute approaches that are key to empowering young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.
16 Renewing the Vision GOAL #2 To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the faith community.Goal 2Youth Ministry ... it’s about connectionThe second goal is “to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.” (RTV 11). Young people have a hunger for connection, to be in relationship, and to belong. Family, peers, school, youth serving organizations, and church are primary connections for young people. Some of the ways the church fulfills this second goal of youth ministry is by ...Being a ‘youth friendly’ community that welcomes young people, values their participation, and calls forth their gifts.Integrating young people into the liturgical, pastoral, and ministerial life of the parish community.Creating opportunities for young people to enter into healthy relationships of trust and respect with their peers and with adults.Promoting Catholic identity and religious literacy through programs of adolescent catechesis.
17 Renewing the Vision The youth-friendly parish Assumes: -young people are valued-youth are seen as a gift to be shared,rather than as a problem to be solved-intentional intergenerational opportunities,connecting young people with caring adultsA youth-friendly parish has the following basic assumptions:Young people are valued and they have much to contribute. This means that we want to involve young people in the ongoing life of the parish.Youth are seen as a gift to be shared not as a problem that needs to be solved. Our whole approach to young people should not be centered on the negative publicity young people often receive. Instead their contributions should be sought since they too have much to share.Intentional intergenerational opportunities offer youth the chance to meet other adults in a healthy and caring environment. These connections help integrate youth into the entire parish rather than having a youth group set aside on their own.
18 Comprehensive Youth Ministry Assumes:-a “youth-friendly” parish, with young people welcomed and engaged in the life of the broader faith community-a wide variety of opportunities for youth involvement in the parish and beyond-a team of visionary adult and youth leaders who plan and lead a parish’s ministry to, with, by and for youthComprehensive youth ministry assumes that youth will be welcomed and actively connected to the broader faith community. Youth will see that their parish offers a wide variety of opportunities both within the parish and the community. They will be able to pick and chose different activities which appeal to their interests. This approach also includes a team of adults and youth that provide a vision for parish youth ministry. These are the planners and the leaders who connect with other ministries and offer a wide range of connections for young people in the community.
19 Renewing the Vision GOAL #3 To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.Goal 3Youth Ministry ... it’s about gifts and growthThe third goal of youth ministry is “to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.” (RTV 15). Adolescence is an important time for mental, spiritual, social, and physical growth. Their experiences and relationships greatly influence their healthy and positive development. The Church strives to surround young people with the best possible external scaffolds—networks of caring relationships of family, school, peers, and other adults—while young people are developing their internal psychological and spiritual backbone—their values, life skills, commitments, and moral compass. The Church fulfills this third goal of youth ministry by ...Enabling young people to develop a personal relationship with Jesus.Actively supporting positive youth development and fostering healthy values and life skills.Supporting families of young people by providing resources, programs, and services.Providing opportunities to experience and express caring, service, and compassion for others
20 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map: ComprehensiveDevelopmentally appropriateComprehensive youth ministry meets young people where they are and offers appropriate connections to the life of the parish. Youth are not talked down to or treated as children. Instead their opinions and ideas are encouraged and sought out. Activities take into account the teachings of the church and help to address the lived experiences and challenges of young people today.
21 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map: ComprehensiveDevelopmentally appropriateFamily friendlyComprehensive youth ministry is family friendly. It allows space for families to gather and celebrate. It partners with parents by keeping them well informed and by inviting their participation. It also provides activities that enhance family life such as parent-teen communication workshops.
22 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map: ComprehensiveDevelopmentally appropriateFamily friendlyIntergenerationalComprehensive youth ministry offers opportunities for intergenerational activities. Youth often interact very well with the elderly. There is something about these relationships which has the opportunity to delight. Some parishes have hosted swing dance lessons which tend to bring both of these generations together for a shared experience.
23 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map: ComprehensiveDevelopmentally appropriateFamily friendlyIntergenerationalMulticulturalComprehensive youth ministry is multicultural. It includes participants from all ethnic backgrounds and encourages understanding by offering cultural experiences. The Catholic church is a multicultural church. We need to do all that we can do to welcome, learn about and encourage different cultures.
24 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map: ComprehensiveDevelopmentally appropriateFamily friendlyIntergenerationalMulticulturalCommunity-wide collaborationComprehensive youth ministry takes into account the ongoing life of the parish and seeks ways to interact youth with all parish activities. It reaches beyond the parish by connecting with other churches, schools and community serving organizations. Together these groups learn about the resources available to serve youth within the local community.
25 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map: ComprehensiveDevelopmentally appropriateFamily friendlyIntergenerationalMulticulturalCommunity-wide collaborationLeadershipComprehensive youth ministry offers opportunities for youth leaders to develop leadership skills. Within the caring and supportive environment of the parish young people can explore their leadership gifts and learn from mentors who freely share their time.
26 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map: ComprehensiveDevelopmentally appropriateFamily friendlyIntergenerationalMulticulturalCommunity-wide collaborationLeadershipFlexible, adaptable programmingComprehensive youth ministry does not assume that all youth are available for the same activity at one particular time a week. To that end a wide variety of activities are planned at different times and locations. It is most successful when a three month calendar is printed for youth and families to see what is available and what interests their particular needs.
27 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyComprehensive youth ministry has eight components. They include:Advocacy“The ministry of advocacy engages the Church to examine its priorities and practices to determine how well young people are integrated into the life, mission, and work of the Catholic community.” (RTV, p. 27) The ministry of advocacy includes protecting the sanctity of human life, speaking with and on behalf of young people, empowering the voice of young people, and developing partnerships in building a healthy community and society.
28 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyCatechesis“The ministry of catechesis most effectively promotes the faith development of young and older adolescents when the curriculum is focused on important faith themes of the Church and on the developmental needs and life experiences of adolescents.” (RTV, p. 30) Catechesis helps young people enrich and expand their understanding of the scriptures and the sacred tradition. It provides a healthy future by encouraging youth to live faithfully in providing real life applications so that they may grow as disciples of Jesus Christ in their daily lives.
29 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyCatechesisCommunity Life“The ministry of community life builds an environment of love, support, appreciation for diversity, and judicious acceptance that models Catholic principles; develops meaningful relationships; and nurtures Catholic faith.” (RTV, p. 34) Community life affords the opportunity for gathering in many different forms; large groups, small groups, intergenerational groups, ongoing parish activities and celebrations to name just a few. This includes relationships between youth and caring adults, but not exclusively.
30 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyCatechesisCommunity LifeEvangelization“The ministry of evangelization shares the good news of the reign of God and invites young people to hear about the Word Made Flesh.” (RTV, p. 36) Drawing from Jesus’ example, evangelization involves the community’s pronouncements and living witnesses of adults and young people that the reign of God is realized in and through Jesus. The ministry of evangelization incorporates several essential elements: witness, outreach, proclamation, invitation, conversion, and discipleship.
31 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyCatechesisCommunity LifeEvangelizationJustice and Service“The ministry of justice and service nurtures in young people a social consciousness and a commitment to a life of justice and service rooted in their faith in Jesus Christ, in the Scriptures, and in Catholic social teaching; 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 ministry efforts.” (RTV, p. 38) This component helps youth to develop an understanding of Catholic social teaching and assess the needs in the community that need attention/service.
32 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyCatechesisCommunity LifeEvangelizationJustice and ServiceLeadership Development“The ministry of leadership development calls forth, affirms, and empowers the diverse gifts, talents, and abilities of adults and young people in our faith communities for comprehensive ministry with adolescents.” (RTV, p. 40) Leadership development provides opportunities for young people to develop and share their gifts with the wider community. Mentoring, training and skill building provide a variety of platforms for growth and development.
33 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyCatechesisCommunity LifeEvangelizationJustice and ServiceLeadership DevelopmentPastoral Care“The ministry of pastoral care is a compassionate presence in imitation of Jesus’ care for people, especially those who were hurting and in need.” (RTV, p. 42) It involves promoting positive adolescent and family development through a variety of positive (preventive) strategies. These strategies include caring for adolescents and families in crisis through supports, counseling, and referral to appropriate community agencies; providing guidance as young people face life decisions and make moral choices, and challenging systems that are obstacles to positive development.
34 Renewing the Vision Components AdvocacyCatechesisCommunity LifeEvangelizationJustice and ServiceLeadership DevelopmentPastoral CarePrayer and Worship“The ministry of prayer and worship celebrates and deepens young people’s relationship with Jesus Christ through the bestowal of grace, communal prayer, and liturgical experiences; it awakens their awareness of the spirit at work in their lives, it incorporates young people more fully in the sacramental life of the Church, especially Eucharist; it nurtures the personal prayer life of young people, and it fosters family rituals and prayer.” (RTV, p. 44) Prayer and worship encourages young people to experience deeply the richness of communal worship in the celebration of the liturgy. It also encourages an understanding of the discipline of personal prayer to encourage growth in their relationship with Christ.
35 Comprehensive Youth Ministry Model Assumes:that youth havedifferent needs-that youth like tochoose how to beinvolved-that youth havehectic schedules-that many youngpeople benefit byhaving a variety ofadults to relate toAdvocacyCommunityLifeCatechesisJustice andServiceYouth and AdultLeadership TeamLeadershipDevelopmentEvangelizationComprehensive youth ministry is involved. It has a youth and adult leadership team which realizes that youth have different needs and that they like to chose how to be involved since they have busy schedules too. The leadership teams plans activities which involve all eight components from Renewing the Vision. The leadership teams serves as the innermost ring. They seek out and plan opportunities in the parish, in the local community and with the global community too. This model enables young people to benefit by relating to a variety of adults.Pastoral CarePrayer andWorshipInnermost ring: Youth and Adult Leadership Team Second ring: Parish CommunityThird ring: Neighborhood and Civic Community Outside: Global Community
36 Comprehensive Approach DiscipleshipFaith ReligiousFormation EducationComprehensive youth ministry works in partnership with religious education and faith formation to encourage young people to develop the faith skills they need to be active disciples in the world today. Youth learn about their faith and are offered the opportunity to reflect upon what they have learned. Youth and adults are encourage to share their faith experiences with one another.
37 Catholic Youth Ministry A New Map:Questions?You have covered the three goals and eight components of comprehensive youth ministry reflected in the 1997 U.S. bishops’ document: Renewing the Vision. This would be a good place to pause and ask what questions your audience may have regarding this new road map.The remainder of this presentation covers best practices and key players. It offers suggestions for a youth ministry team, a youth ministry commission, and a leadership team.
38 Best Practices Regular gatherings Special events Intentional catechesisYouth in leadership and serviceYouth involved in parish lifeConnects with/supports familiesParishes involved with comprehensive youth ministry have listed some of the following best practices.Regular gatherings that offer continuity.Special events that attract others and offer unique opportunities.Catechesis which is developmentally appropriate and deals with life issues/challenges.Young people serving as leaders in the various ministries of the parish.Youth actively involved in parish life.Youth participating in a wide variety of activities.Effective youth ministry connects with families and supports them in their ministry of family life.
39 Effective Youth Ministry VisionStructureLeadershipEffective youth and adult leaders study and utilize the U.S. Bishops’ document Renewing the Vision to develop a parish vision for providing comprehensive youth ministry. Good youth ministry has a structure and is well planned so that youth and adults may be actively involved. It also has a strong leadership team which seeks input from the entire community and offers opportunities that truly meet the needs of youth.
40 Cafeteria or Contact Model Key Sections:Youth ProgrammingFamily ProgrammingParish LifeCivic/Ecumenical CommunityComprehensive youth ministry offers a wide variety of activities based at the parish, local and the community level. Some is catered to youth, some to families, some to parish and some to the civic/ecumenical community. This can be seen as a cafeteria model since there is an opportunity to pick and chose. It could also be seen as a contact model where youth and adults of the parish are continuously inviting others to participate in a wide range of offerings. The contact model also serves as an opportunity to invite others and to develop relationships between leaders and youth. Healthy relationships serve as a positive influence in the lives of adolescents.
41 How to Order? Eat –in Gathered group activities Take – out Individual activitiesComprehensive youth ministry involves gathered and individual activities. Gathered events afford group dynamics and sharing which enhance community life. Individual activities include pastoral outreach, connecting youth with other youth-serving organizations in the community and helping young people to develop a personal prayer life.
42 What does this provide? Variety of formats and times Variety of settingsVariety of interests and needsFreedom of choiceComprehensive youth ministry therefore offers a lot of variety including, times, settings, interests, and needs. This allows the young person freedom of choice and gives them the opportunity to seek out those things that peak their interest and fit within their time schedule.
43 What are the advantages? Youth groupingsExpanded youth leadershipMore involvement with adult role modelsRecruiting leaders: more doing lessMore people become involved in comprehensive youth ministry. This is seen with more young people involved in leadership roles and more adults serving as adult role models. More leaders means a larger team of people which translates to more people doing less. In other words it is not the same team members organizing, facilitating and cleaning up after every single activity.
44 What does this approach require? TimeCommunicationTeamVisionComprehensive youth ministry takes time. It takes time for a parish to share this vision, recruit youth and adult leaders and begin to offer a wide variety of activities that meet the needs of the goals and components of Renewing the Vision. It requires good communication among the leaders of the team and the leaders of the parish as well as with youth and families. It revolves around a team rather than one person. The entire team has a vested interest in youth ministry which reaches out to all youth. Finally, this approach requires vision. The parish needs a vision of youth ministry to gauge is offerings and to evaluate how it is meeting the needs of youth.
45 Key players in this approach The community is the context.How do we:InviteWelcomeProvide hospitalityFoster youth participation and belongingSupport discipleship – doing faithThe community is the context in which comprehensive youth ministry lives. The community invites, welcomes, offers hospitality, builds relationships, fosters participation and belonging and supports discipleship. It is not just the youth ministry leader or just the youth ministry team that does all of these things but rather the entire parish.
46 Youth Ministry Team and Youth Activity and Program LeadersYouth Ministry CommissionEffective comprehensive youth ministry has four key circles that enable successful youth ministry. The youth ministry commission, the leadership team, the activity and program leaders and young people. All of these circles necessarily interact with one another.Young PeopleLeadership Team
47 The Youth Ministry Team The Youth Ministry Leader (Coordinator)The Youth Ministry CommissionThe Leadership TeamThe Activity/Program LeadersThe Chaperones (CAPs)The key circles make up the Youth Ministry Leadership Team. They consist of committed youth and adults who provide the vision, direction, planning and implementation of the youth ministry program at the parish.The Leadership Team has the following critical tasks: Handle the planning, implementation and evaluation of the designed program. Foster the involvement of young people in the life of the parish, including serving on various parish committees and being involved in parish activities.The coordinator makes sure the team gathers, offers trainings, provides resources, and encourages the team.The commission provides oversight and connections to resources in the parish community.The leadership team plans, implements and evaluates youth ministry offerings.The activity/program leaders take responsibility for a specific event.Chaperones offer consistent adult presence (CAPs) to youth ministry activities.
48 Youth Ministry Commission Program overviewKeeper of the visionVolunteer recruitmentBudget and financeYouth Ministry CommissionThe Youth Ministry Commission ensures that the pastoral care of young people is rooted in the parish and is seen as integral to the life, work and mission of the parish community. The Commission consists of adults who provide vision, direction, support, and advocacy for the parish’s ministry to young people. They also work to help recruit adults to participate in youth ministry activities.
49 Leadership Team Comprised of young people and adults Seasonal planning Program implementationLeadership TeamThe Youth Ministry Leadership Team consists of committed youth and adults who provide the vision, direction, planning and implementation of the youth ministry program at (name of Catholic parish).The Leadership Team has the following critical tasks:Handle the planning, implementation and evaluation of the designed program.Foster the involvement of young people in the life of the parish, including serving on various parish committees and being involved in parish activities.Members of the Youth Ministry Leadership Team are responsible for:Attending the monthly Leadership Team meetings.Serving on the planning teams for particular youth ministry programs or youth ministry activities.Providing support for being present at youth ministry programs and activities when possible.Building a sense of faith community among the Leadership Team and among all the young people involved at the parish.Members of the Youth Ministry Leadership Team exhibit the following qualities:LeadershipGood AmbassadorTo guide and influence the direction of the programVisible leadershipEnthusiasticBe PreparedFresh IdeasInclusiveAre present at Youth Ministry programs and activities when possible In-ChargeA good exampleEnergeticSelf-Confident
50 Activity and Program Leaders Youth and adult leadersPlan activitiesAssist with activitiesEvaluate activitiesActivity and Program LeadersActivity leaders take responsibility for planning and implementing one of the monthly events held as a part of youth ministry. These activities might include socials, sports events, service projects, retreats, special youth liturgies, sports teams, fundraisers, and (arch)diocesan events (Youth Day, Pilgrimage, National Catholic Youth Conference, Service Projects).Activity leaders have the following responsibilities:Check calendar dates with the youth ministry coordinator.Recruit a team of youth and adults at the youth ministry activities (if necessary).Meet with the planning team to review tasks and responsibilities (Create and follow a youth ministry Event Planning Form).Arrange for publicity, permission slips (if an off campus activity), transportation, registration fees (if needed), etc.Make the necessary contacts with the parish calendar, (arch)diocesan Office of Youth Ministry or other sites as needed.Follow up with the planning team to assure that all tasks are handled.Conduct some form of evaluation after the event.Activity leaders have the following qualities:Like being with young people.Ability to plan, implement and evaluate activities.Ability to work with a planning team.Ability to enable young people to use their skills, work together, and foster their input and participation.Ability to communicate with young people.Ability to really listen to young people.Activity leaders communicate with the youth ministry coordinator, who provides resources and support.
51 Young People Youth from the team Youth from the parish Youth in the communityAll youth are welcomeYoungPeopleThe youth ministry team develops comprehensive youth ministry for all youth in the community. They reach beyond the doors of the church to invite and include all young people. All activities events welcome youth.
52 What does a Youth Ministry Leader do? Direct programmingSeasonal programmingLeadership developmentSacramental and/or catechetical programsAdministrationDirect programming – implementing the goals and components of the 1997 Bishops’ document Renewing the Vision, for example, working with a core team of youth and adults to organize programs like retreats, youth group, peer ministry, outings, opportunities for pastoral care, gathered and non-gathered events, etc. Seasonal programming – involving youth in the liturgical life of the parish and its celebrations, for example, youth leading the Stations of the Cross during Lent and youth working with other members of the parish to organize parish outreach or a Christmas social.Leadership development – recruiting youth and adult volunteers, and training them for effective ministry, looking for opportunities and other people to enrich the lives and the faith of young people.Sacramental and/or catechetical programs – facilitating the faith development of youth in the areas of catechesis and preparation for the celebration of the sacraments.Administration - coordinating an efficient office, working in tandem with the pastor and parish staff, especially the director of religious education and/or the principal of the school and staying in contact with the diocesan office of youth ministry.
53 Pastor and Parish Leadership Role Provide the visionEnable the teamSupport the ministryBe an advocateThe pastor helps to provide and encourage the vision. He interacts with the Commission and the Leadership team to support youth ministry. The pastor also advocates among other ministries in the parish to invite them to involve young people to their activities. He encourages adults to server as mentors for youth as they take an interest in the various pastoral ministries of the parish. Additionally, the pastor has the unique opportunity to publicly highlight the good news of young people by sharing such news with the larger parish community.
54 Challenges Proclaim the Good News – and proclaim it again Connect young people to the life of the faith communityGive young people the opportunity to serveCreate a community where the Jesus dream is realizedComprehensive youth ministry has a variety of challenges which makes youth ministry exciting.The good news needs to be share often and repeatedly in all activities.Outreach and evangelization requires moving beyond comfort zones to invite young people to participate in some of the many activities offered.Mentoring young people to be disciples of Jesus challenges adults to consider how they themselves are disciples.It takes time to figure out what needs exist before the parish is able to invite youth and adults to consider ways to serve those needs.Youth ministry reaches beyond young people to evangelize an entire community. The vision embraces all in order to establish a community where the Jesus dream is realized. It takes time.
55 Tools for the new map in Catholic Youth Ministry Training and certificationBeyond a ministry by preferenceStable adult baseCreating a safe environmentNew challenges that come with this new map include trainings for parishes and developing opportunities for certification of youth ministry leaders. It also includes encouraging adults to become involved in a variety of ministries rather than only the activities they prefer. In a transient community it can be a challenge to build a stable base of adult volunteers who serve as a resource to youth ministry. Additional training and background checks are required for all adults involved in youth ministry. Developing safe environments is vital to the success of a healthy outreach to young people.Consult the following resources on the NFCYM website for further information:Developing a Parish youth ministry teamGroundbreaking: A How-To Guide for Building Comprehensive Youth MinistryYouth Ministry Role DescriptionsThese and other resources may be found on the NFCYM website, in the Catholic Youth Ministry section under Developing a Parish Youth Ministry Team.
56 Catholic Youth Ministry: A New Map for the New Millennium Youth Ministry Leadership PresentationSponsored by theNational Federation for Catholic Youth MinistryThe National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry is the leading advocate for comprehensive youth ministry in dioceses, parishes, and schools throughout the United States. Additional information may found online at
57 NFCYM National Conferences National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry(for adult leaders)Las Vegas, NV – November 30-December 3, 2006National Catholic Youth Conference(for high school youth and adult leaders)Columbus, OH – November 8-11, 2007The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry offers conferences to promote comprehensive youth ministry.The National Catholic Youth Conference gathers over 18,000 high school youth and adult leaders. NCYC is held every other year on the odd year.The National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry gathers over 2000 adult leaders for opportunities to learn, network, and share ideas that encourage comprehensive youth ministry. NCCYM is held every other year on the even year.Thank you for your ministry with youth and families at your parish. We pray that this new map will serve as a good guide to develop a new approach to youth ministry in your community. More information and resources that compliment presentation may be found online at