One of my first blog posts was titled Who Is Supposed to Disciple Me? In ministry, we usually focus on helping others grow in discipleship, but lets face it: it can be very difficult for [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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.
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.
Here are three areas upon which to focus that will leave your adults wanting more and make volunteering for youth ministry attractive to new volunteers as well.
Think about the first time you went to an amazing restaurant. After you went, was it your desire to go back alone and just relive the same experience again? I am willing to bet not. My point is that when we experience something that is good, we have a natural desire to share it. Experiencing the Gospel is no different.
In order for a discipleship group to be a discipleship group, it requires the commitment of a disciple. I think it’s crazy the commitments that things like sports, clubs, and music require of the youth [...]