About Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher is a husband and father living in South Dakota. He has been involved in youth ministry since 2003. He has a great love for Discipleship and is currently serving the Diocese of Sioux Falls as the Director of Youth Discipleship & Evangelization. Eric is the founder of DiscipleshipYM.com and DiscipleshipTraining.com. Interested in having Eric come speak or train your parish or Diocese? Go Here!

Diving Into The Earmarks: Mutual Responsibility

By | May 6th, 2015|, |

Have you ever wondered why fitness center memberships can be so expensive or why they require you to have a certain length of contract? Many fitness centers would actually say that charging a higher rate [...]

Stop Helping Youth and Start Helping Parents

By | April 29th, 2015|, |

We have heard it said a million times that the primary people responsible for the formation of the youth are their parents. The Church doesn’t have a secondary role in their formation, as if it’s only when the parents are doing it poorly, but it shares in this responsibility.

Down With Youth Groups…Continued

By | April 21st, 2015|, |

The first instinct when youth start to become interested in spiritual growth is usually to start a youth group. I would argue that focusing on the four earmarks as the means to teaching them the faith is the better way to go.

Diving Into The Earmarks: Intimacy

By | April 14th, 2015|, |

The reality is that we live in a culture that is so relativistic and distrusting of authority that it will take much more to inspire others to do something than simply telling them to do it. Only love for another will motivate a person to freely adopt a new way of thinking and acting.

When Programming in Discipleship is a Good Thing

By | April 7th, 2015|, , |

One of the things I find most difficult in what I do is being able to explain to others how discipleship is not a program. Any programming in your parish, including discipleship groups, should be [...]

The Balance Between Too Much Control and Too Much Freedom in Discipleship

By | March 31st, 2015|, , |

When I was kid, I remember my grandparents having a pendulum clock. I thought it was so cool that I could grab the pendulum to stop it from moving back and forth. When I let it go, it would slowly begin to build up momentum and start swinging again from side to side. This clock often comes to mind when I think about youth ministry and as I address questions regarding safe environment, oversight, etc. On the one hand we want to protect our youth, so we need to have guidelines and boundaries in place, but on the other, we don’t want so many limits that those involved have no freedom to do what they know needs to be done. It’s a difficult balance between too much control and too much freedom.

You Can Not Force Discipleship

By | March 24th, 2015|, |

Discipleship Focused Youth Ministry is tough because it requires a more natural evolution than simply creating a program and getting people to become involved in it. As the earmark of Mutual Responsibility implies, discipleship is a two-way street. You need a rabbi (teacher) who is willing to invest themselves in a disciple, and you need a disciple who desires to be like the teacher. The reality is that we cannot force discipleship.

How Youth Ministry May Not Be Much Different Than Prison

By | March 17th, 2015|, , , |

Those who have not really thought too much about what it would be like outside of the box and have been living in it for so long struggle with the realities when change begins to hit. At the same time, we have people who have been engaging in discipleship for some time, and when they look at the walls of the common youth ministry structure in the Church (the jail), they are able to much more readily see the lack of freedom one has in them.

Book Review: Rebuilding Youth Ministry

By | March 10th, 2015|, |

One of my favorite blogs to follow on Catholic Youth Ministry is written by Christopher Wesley, the director of student ministry at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland. I was privileged to meet Chris for the first time this last December and learn about his new book which was published on March 9th. Here is my review!

10 Tips to Consider When Starting a New Discipleship Group

By | March 3rd, 2015|, |

When a good leader is just getting started with a new group, there can be some very frustrating moments. Perhaps you have no idea where to begin. Starting a new discipleship group in any situation comes with its struggles. Here are ten tips for you to consider as you begin.