7 Lessons Learned in Youth Ministry

Fall is an active time around most of our parishes, and it’s a time full of incredible hope for another year of catechetics. I’ve been blessed with almost a decade of working in youth ministry and witnessing the incredible ways that the Lord can work in the lives of high school teens.

As many lives I have seen touched by God, we have a serious problem in the Church. In the USA alone, 80% of youth that go through our Catholic programs are no longer practicing Catholics by the age of 23. This is a terrifying statistic.

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The source of this issue is complex and has existed for a few generations now, and I have heard a lot of people that don’t work in youth ministry share their opinion. There’s lots of great points to consider when reviewing youth ministry. With the risk of over-simplifying a solution, here are some points I have learned over the past few years. Many came after painful failures.

7 Lessons I have Learned Serving in Youth Ministry

  1. The bar must be set higher than getting teens to attend and at least seem like they’re paying attention. Our mission can’t be less than making disciples (Matthew 28:19)Catechist
  2. Catechesis will not be effective on un-evangelized teens. Teens must know the love of Christ to truly have faith or even care about what the Church has to say.
  3. Programs often underestimate the capacity and desire of teens for the fullness of Truth from Mother Church. Young people go after sin because they are seeking His Truth and love but don’t know how to fill the void.
  4. The how’s and why’s of the faith cannot be skipped or understated. You can’t teach them everything, but you can teach them how to think and find the Truth in Him.

Continue reading and listen to the interview at Austin CNM »

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