I spend a lot of my time outside of my main career volunteering in youth ministry. I have spent the last 7 years refining a program to raise the standard and goals we set for teenage Catholics. In my latest blog, I share about some of the lessons I have learned.
Forming Teens Into Evangelical Catholics
Youth ministry is a unique challenge for the Church, and by challenge, I mean opportunity.
A decade ago, I started to dabble in youth ministry, but I have spent the last 7 years working with great people in the Church to develop a program that can form young Evangelical Catholics. An understandably lofty goal, but one that I believe that will bear much fruit in the Church.
When we speak about the role and importance of youth ministry, it’s a conversation that expands far beyond catechesis. There are some good arguments as to why we have experienced so many issues and poor performance in our catechetical approach in America. Most of it can be summed up in two points. One, parents are the primary teacher and catechist for their children. Two, poorly equipped parents have not be able to lead and support their children’s catechesis. We can acknowledge that these are broadly painted strokes, and there are plenty of exceptions. Even still, this is a common problem we see in the Church today.
We have the huge challenge of losing many of our teens by the time they graduate college (Pew Research). As Sherry Weddell explained in Forming Intentional Disciples, we used to think this would get resolved when young people got married and came back to the Church for their families. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case, and many of those that leave don’t plan on returning.
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