3 Ways to Start the Year off Right!

For many of us in youth ministry, the summer has flown by and now a new year is starting right around the corner. New teens will be coming and current teens will be returning, excited to see their friends. What can we do to start the year off right in order to get the teens and families excited about the new year? Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Timely Parent Information

It is vital to inform parents early of all that is going to take place in youth ministry throughout the year. Invite them into the process and let them know how they can be involved.

2. Core Training/Retreat

The Core Team is the heart of running a successful youth ministry. Therefore, the training the youth minister hosts for the Core Team should be one of the most important days on the youth minister’s calendar each year. This typically takes place in August, shortly before the year starts. It should inform them of their role and what is expected of them throughout the year. It should also be engaging and get them excited about the upcoming year. In addition, it is a time for members of the Core Team to get to know one another and socialize after the summer break.

3. Welcome Celebration

The first night of the youth ministry year should be a welcome celebration! It should include food, Praise and Worship (if possible), an icebreaker game to help the teens get to know one another, and a brief teaching. Have fun and solicit the Core Team’s input while planning this special night! Above all else, pray for the teens, the parents, and the Core Team, for the Holy Spirit to open their hearts to all that is going on in youth ministry this year. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you lead them. Seek your pastor’s guidance as necessary.

Praying for all to have the best youth ministry year ever!

Melissa Hagen

Melissa Hagen holds a Master’s Degree in Theology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She has served in religious education and youth ministry for over ten years at both the middle school and high school levels.
A convert to Catholicism as a young adolescent from a Baptist and Methodist background, Ms. Hagen has always enjoyed passing on the riches of the Catholic faith with young people. She is currently very active preparing teens for the Sacrament of Confirmation as a member of her Church’s Confirmation Core Team. When she is not busy serving teens, she enjoys watching movies and spending time with her awesome family!

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