The importance of youth ministry
Looking back on my younger years, I’m grateful for the parish-based youth ministry that offered regular retreats and weekly prayer and fellowship meetings. The biggest impact was this: The dedicated people in that ministry introduced me to Jesus Christ. I had been educated in Catholic schools to know about Christ, but the retreats and the call to prayer put me in touch with him. I learned how to pray, how to listen to God. I received nurturing in the Christian life from the wise adults who supported the youth. Looking back, I see my life as snatched from the dragon’s jaws, and captured for Christ. My life could have gone in a negative direction, but instead, I was given a path to grow in grace.
Today, youth ministries offer a variety of wonderful approaches. Yet the mission still boils down to introducing young people to Christ … offering salvation and a new life.
There are several articles on this website that approach youth ministry from a variety of perspectives.
- In “A Lot to Offer,” Katie Prejean McGrady looks at the recent Synod of Bishops on “Young people, faith, and vocational discernment” in Rome.
- Doug Tooke dives deep into “The Spiritual Questions of Generation Z.”
- Timothy O’Malley discusses building disciples in “Youth Ministry as Apprenticeship” here.
- Eric Groth offers 5 ways of “Integrating Catechesis into Your Youth Ministry.”
Pat Gohn, MA is the Editor of Catechist magazine and Catechist.com.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, February 2019 and has been modified to fit this format.