Youth Ministry And The Church

WYD 2013 - Cross carried through crowd

“Youth Ministry is important in the life of the Church! In this grace-filled moment, you and I are called, by the Lord, to do this important ministry.

It is an exciting time to do Youth Ministry in this ‘moment of grace,’ especially with the election of Pope Francis. His humility, simplicity and example is prompting the world, especially among young people, to give the Church a ‘second look’.

I come to you as a pastor of the Church and a fellow pilgrim in the journey of faith to help read the signs of the times. In order to adapt our ministry in this changing world, we need to be clear about what we are being asked to do by the Lord Jesus. We are being asked to help young people answer the single most important question of their lives: the call to evangelization.

In the digital age, Youth Ministry is bringing the Good News to young people by the art of living well – and it begins and ends with the Lord. May we remain faithful to the challenges of our own time, and using the gifts before us, including technology, may we bring many people to live well in this life and the next.”

WHO ARE YOUTH?

Young people are defined as young ages 12-18 in junior high or high school.

MINISTERING TO YOUTH

Renewing the Vision is a framework for Catholic youth ministry.  It highlights goals, challenges, themes, and different ministries in relation to youth ministry.  Below are paraphrased goals and challenges for youth ministry in the Catholic Church.

GOALS

Goal #1: To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”
– Jn 15:13

Youth ministry should begin to teach adolescents what a life of discipleship looks like.  As baptized members of the Church, youth are called to serve others and to serve Christ, bringing about the Kingdom of God in unique ways.  It is the youth minister, pastor, or parent’s job to empower adolescents to live Christian lives of discipleship.  Youth are empowered when they are welcomed into a Church that speaks to their hearts with the “joy of the Gospel and the strength of the Eucharist” (St. John Paul II, 1995 World Day of Prayer for Vocations).  When youth frequently engage the Gospel, challenge their spiritual lives, and are shown the adventure of discipleship through the Church they can begin to commit themselves totally to Jesus Christ in concrete ways.

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