5 Things To Do To Map Out Your Best Fall Calendar

5 Things To Do To Map Out Your Best Fall Calendar

(A quick note from our Blog Editor: I know, I know. WHY on EARTH am I sharing this blog about planning for FALL? We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and have no idea when or how our ministry will start meeting in person again, much less what the new school year will hold! But hear me out friends: This too shall pass. And when it does, it would be helpful to already have a clear vision and goals for returning to “normal” ministry again. So often we get swept up in the busyness and chaos of youth ministry. We are constantly running and executing youth nights, events, Confirmation, the list goes on and on! Now that all of that has been wiped off the table, take some of this precious time to plan an EPIC comeback for your ministry.)

 

Creating a calendar for your youth ministry can be extremely exciting, and overwhelming at the same time. There is so much to do and so little time, what can we do to ensure we are making a difference with our calendars? Here are some helpful tips that have helped guide us in our process.

Start Now

This may be obvious to some, but let’s be honest…..there is a reason why youth leaders have the reputation of being procrastinators. We work well on the fly. We can adapt and we pride ourselves on our flexibility. In some circumstances that may work, but if we are going to maximize the impact our ministries have on young people and their families we must get into the habit of working ahead. 3 months is a great start. 6 months is even better.

Pray

Once again I may be preaching to the choir right now, but in my own experience it’s easy to jump in, plan, strategize and create and before I know it I realize I haven’t even prayed yet. Youth leaders are creative. Entrepreneurial. In charge of the Party Planning committee. Communicators. Self Sufficient Jack of all trades. Never forget the most important thing you can do when you start to plan a calendar is to stop….pray…..and ask the Lord what He wants to do in and through You, your leaders and your ministry.

Ask the Right ?’s

I recently heard that “Great Leaders ASK Great Questions.” When we ask great questions we don’t settle for the status quo. We dream bigger. We take more risks. We are more wise. We don’t jump at the coolest idea or trend. Asking great questions center us and help us focus on what’s most important. For us, when we plan we like to ask these 4 questions…..

What do our students need?
What do our families need?
What do we hope our ministry looks like a year from now?
What in us, or our ministry needs to die?

These questions help us focus on needs, vision of where we are going and pruning which is something we all must be willing to do if we want to grow

Get Stakeholders Feedback

We have a core planning team that makes final decisions, but before we do anything we want feedback from our stakeholders. Our Parent Support Team. Our Student Leadership Team. Our Adult Volunteer team. Before we start planning for the next season of ministry we get their feedback and ideas before we put anything on. The best ideas usually come from our students and it gives them ownership. Parents give amazing insight and perspective as we plan. Our Adult leaders help us see things we might miss. We are better together so make sure you are planning events that people actually want to attend.

Be Strategic AND Trim the Fat

Once you have done all the necessary prep, it’s time to start putting events on the calendar. At this point you may have a long list of ideas from feedback and brainstorming. The reality is you can’t do it all, so layout a plan that will be strategic in helping you go after your vision. What are you trying to accomplish? How will this event help with doing that? Do these events flow well together? Are we asking too much of our leaders? Will my calendar break the bank for families? Fill you calendar and before you finalize it trim some fat. Make your calendar slim, yet effective. Full, but not overwhelming.

The Breakdown of Perfection

The Breakdown of Perfection

In the Gospel of Matthew, right after the beatitudes and in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ speaks to his disciples about loving your enemies and then gives them the highest expectation: “Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5:48)

Pluck your eye out if it causes you to sin! If you divorce, you’re committing adultery! Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Don’t be vengeful; turn the other cheek! Love your enemies!

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

How is that even obtainable? How can that even be a standard when humanity, from the beginning of Adam and Eve, has been stained by sin? How can Jesus ask me to be perfect when we are told over and over again that only God is perfect? How can He expect me to be like Him?

You start by recognizing how Christ sees perfection and how the World sees perfection is very different. Society tells us: Be well behaved! Control your emotions! Do better! Work harder! Own more things! Be more than who you really are!

The Jesus Christ in the Gospel tells us an entirely different story and if Jesus Christ was one of the two people (the other being Mary, his mother) that walked this earth perfectly, we need to follow His example.

Christ felt his emotions

In the Cleansing of the Temple (Mt. 21:12 – 17), Christ sees how the people have desecrated the temple and in a fit of righteous anger, he “overturn[s] the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.”

Then, when he discovers that his friend Lazarus has passed, the Gospel of John offers us the shortest verse: “And Jesus wept.” (Jn 11:35) Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead, but that didn’t mean that Christ didn’t experience the sorrow that accompanied the news.

Christ left everything and he told his disciples to do the same

Our society tells us to choose a job we are passionate about because our society thinks that your career is the only way to happiness. The Gospel throws this idea away. The only thing that will bring you joy is leaving everything behind. Christ embarked on his journey and wouldn’t go home because he was rejected by the people of Nazareth (Lk. 4:29). He left everything behind and so he called his disciples to do the same.

In a moment that is found in every Gospel (a rare occurrence), Christ begins his ministry by calling his first disciples into relationship and their response is to leave their jobs, their very livelihood, to follow him (Jn 1:35 – 51; Mk. 1:16 – 20; Mt. 4:18 – 22; Lk. 5:1-11).  Their jobs, no matter how well they performed and no matter how much they benefited from it monetarily, would not bring them the same joy their discipleship would. Within moments of meeting Christ, they know this and they leave everything too.

Christ went to his Father as he was

When Christ is in the Agony of the Garden, he knows that he is about to enter into the darkest part of his life: his crucifixion. He knows that it must happen, but Jesus, being beautifully human, is begging God the Father, to take away the cup, if He can. Jesus is in so much anguish and “he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.” (Lk. 22:44)

So often, we get caught up in our mess that we are afraid to approach God. Yet,  Jesus trusted God so entirely that he gave entirely of himself in the Garden and then, on the cross. Jesus went to God, simply to be with Him in his darkest hour.

Your Life, Your Choice

The question is: how could we possibly be like Jesus when he was perfect and sinless?

The answer is: we have to stop thinking about what perfection isn’t and start seeing it for what it truly was in Christ. Sin is a part of our human condition, of course, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fruit in emulating Christ.

Jesus was perfect and sinless, but perfection doesn’t look the way we think it does. In order to truly aim for perfection, we have to break it down to what it really was: emotional, fervent, and self-abandoning.

Only then can we even have a hope of truly being like Christ.

Supporting Your Teens While Social Distancing

Supporting Your Teens While Social Distancing

It’s not always the case that we can know with certainty that we are living through a historic time. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that the only certain thing we can know at this point.

With the news reports changing everyday, the number of cases fluctuating world-wide, and state governments issuing “stay at home” orders left and right, it can feel as though all the tools in your ministry belt are now useless.

Fear not! Your teens need you now more than ever. As they are now forced to stay home, the enemy wants to make us feel isolated, ineffective, and irrelevant. However, the Gospel of Jesus is never irrelevant and His message of hope is one that is especially needed right now. We just need to get a little creative in how we do this.

One of the beautiful qualities of youth ministers is that we are used to adapting. Technology problems? No problem, we’ll stall or act the video out ourselves. Speaker cancel last minute? We have a prayer activity to do instead. No schedule or itinerary for an event you are signed up to attend? It’s okay, we’ll come armed with icebreakers and a deck of Uno cards in our back pocket until we figure it out.

Now, it’s time to use those skills to creatively think of ways to reach out to our teens. Here are a few ways to spread Christ’s message of hope in these difficult times:

Write your teens letters

The art of letter writing has almost been lost. Resurrect that for your teens and give them something that will put a smile on their face long after they’re done reading the letter. Even if it’s a quick note, a funny joke, or a picture of your youth group, this is a small way for your teens to feel seen and known.

Use technology to your advantage

Meet your teens where they are at: online. Post on Instagram and Facebook different bible verses and encouragement. Livestream yourself praying the rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Host “virtual” bible studies through Zoom or Google Hangouts (just make sure you have parental permission first).

Bake/Make Something

If you can, bake or home make something (who doesn’t love a good cookie) and drop them off at your teens doorstep. This is just a small way that you can show you care about them.

PRAY

I know this is an obvious one. But when you think about it, when was the last time we had time to pray for our teens? Like really pray. Pray over their needs, pray over their dreams, pray over their families. Name them each by name. Give them over to Jesus and our Mother Mary, who can minister to them in a way we will never be able to. I have found a lot of freedom entrusting my teens to Jesus and Our Blessed Mother because I know they are in good hands.

We were not given a spirit of fear and timidity but of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7). This is a great time to walk in that truth and continue to minister to the youth the Lord has entrusted to us.

Your Worth as a Youth Minister

Your Worth as a Youth Minister

One of the worst feelings I have ever felt was on a Sunday night in the middle of the summer. I
had prepared a fun youth event that included tye-dye and a bible study on the Creation story.
Ten minutes had gone by and no one had showed up. Not a single soul. I sat in the chair, trying
not to look pathetic in case one lone teen would saunter in the room. My heart was racing and I
felt sort of sick to my stomach. In those moments, I felt small and insignificant. I felt like I had
failed and was embarrassed by my hopeful purchase of a dozen white tees.

Thankfully, I was finally put out of my misery and 8 teenagers rolled in after 15 agonizing
minutes. The evening Mass had gone late and prevented them from coming earlier.
Whether you’re a full time Youth Minister or serve on a volunteer basis, it’s hard not to feel that
your worth as a minister of the Gospel resides solely in how many teens come to your events.  And while certainly having teens there to minister to is kind of the whole point of youth ministry in the first place, there’s a tendency to allow it to judge who YOU are instead.

This is a strong temptation that I fall into quite often… I entertain thoughts like,
“If I’m not successful in this, then I’m a bad youth minister.”
“If I don’t have enough numbers and am not producing enough fruit, God must be
displeased.”
“I need to prove that I’m good enough for this role.”

I think that if we are honest with ourselves, these thoughts have crossed all of our minds at some point.
How many times have we told our teens that they are children of God? Hundreds, thousands,
maybe millions, depending on how long you’ve been in this line of work. We speak this truth
because declaring this identity over our teens is one they continuously need to hear. But the
other side of the coin is this, my fellow YM’s:

You are a child of God too.

Nothing that you ever do could make Him love you more or love you less. You could have
hundreds of teenagers coming in on a Sunday or Wednesday evening, hanging on to every
word you say. And the Lord in His love does not see you any differently than if you are
ministering to just one teenager, who came there for the free food. The enemy will make you
think that God is looking to see how well you perform. To prove how worthy you are for this call.
I know because he did this to Jesus Himself, (“IF you are the Son of God command these
stones into bread… Mt. 4:3)

Our good Father loves His children without counting the return on the investment. This kind of
love that we receive is what overflows into the ministry that we do, not the other way around. The
more and more I realize this, the better I am to minister from a place of security of who I am
rather than a place of desperation to be affirmed in my work. Suddenly inviting kids to events or
retreats or bible studies isn’t like pulling teeth — it’s an act of love because I want to share with them the freedom I have found. That kind of freedom is what will draw teens to Jesus, because it’s one only He can provide.

My prayer for you, friends, is this: that we all can live out the freedom we have found as children
of a ridiculously generous Father. And from this place we can share that love with the teens the
Lord brings us our way– no matter how small or overwhelmingly large the numbers are.

Joy in Youth Ministry: Being Buoyed by Hope

Joy in Youth Ministry: Being Buoyed by Hope

While not-so-innocently meandering around the Hobby Lobby this month, I found myself drawn, as usual, to the décor aisles. Scattered about the adorable canvas signs (silently beckoning, “Buy me!”) I noticed a few signs with the phrase “Choose Joy” artfully painted on canvas. Before I knew it, the sign appeared in my shopping cart. (I still don’t know how that possibly could have happened!)

That little canvas hangs up on my wall where I see it daily. Some days, it’s an encouragement to me, to ask myself: where is the joy in my voice, in my eyes, in my facial expressions, or even in my driving? Other days, I’m longing for joy, but keep getting pulled underwater.


While counseling my young people at our parish, I hear often of their longing for joy, and I feel the same desire in my own life. We’ve seen it in others, and we crave it. However, in the ebb and flow of life, we find our joy bobbing up and down, above water one moment and under the waves the next. Especially in youth ministry, we want our witness of joy to be contagious to our young people. As the adage goes, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” The question always on my mind was: “How can I give joy?” but I learned that the first question should be: “How do I receive joy?”

Joy is buoyed by hope.

Hope inspires and purifies our activities toward God’s own Heart; it keeps us from discouragement, sustains us when we feel abandoned, and opens us up to eternal expectation of the good (CCC 1818). Buoyed up by hope, [one] is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity. In other words, when our joy feels like it’s sinking, hope keeps our heads above the water.

Hope is anchored in God’s love.

If we are flagging in hope, read of His promises. Ask Him when He has ever failed one of His little ones, and listen for His answer.

Daily prayer is the wellspring of hope.

Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer. (CCC 1820). We simply cannot be effective and fruitful evangelists without daily prayer. Those of us in ministry positions should be even more steadfast in committing to daily personal prayer; not just devotional prayer, but seeking after deep intimacy with Our Lord. Commit to a scheduled time daily, and have constant recourse to the sacraments. Jesus is the source of our hope, and we simply cannot gain hope without His help.

Joy doesn’t always look the way we expect. 

“One who has hope lives differently”, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says in his encyclical Spe Salvi. We live differently with hope, because of a steadfast trust in the One who made the earth and sea, and everyone who inhabits it. However, joy in trials and sorrow looks a lot less like a series of enthusiastic cartwheels, and much more like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It echoes the choruses of “Thy will be done” and “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”.

Joy is our defense against the attacks of Satan.

Saint Francis of Assisi wrote about joy: “The devil rejoices when he can snatch joy away from the servant of God. He carries dust so that he can throw dust into even the tiniest chinks of the conscience…But when spiritual joy fills hearts, the serpent throws his deadly poison in vain. The devil cannot harm the servant of God when he sees that he is filled with holy joy.”

In every circumstance, each one of us should hope (CCC 1821).

Hope’s trademark is its constant confidence, not wishful thinking. It is a virtue, after all, which means it is a “firm attitude, stable disposition, habitual perfection” (CCC 1804). That’s easy when we’re floating along; much harder to do when there’s a hole in our canoe and we’re sinking quickly. But yet, if our hope should abound in every circumstance, so should our joy!

If it feels like our joy is sinking, remember that we are buoyed by hope – a theological virtue. Because of this, it is given only when we ask for it by name. Let’s grasp tightly our anchor of hope, confident in Love, who will never let us drown.
The joy of a heart filled with hope is unmistakable. Not because of a superficial smile, but because joy freely gives love. This freedom comes only from unsinkable hope. In that freedom, we choose joy, because Love Himself not only saved us from drowning, but plunges us into the ocean of His infinite love.

Happy Advent!

We want to help
your ministry thrive.

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Ministry is great, isn’t it? The teens are always smiling and laugh at all of your jokes. They are super polite to every parent and volunteer who walks through the door. They eat all of their food and even help clean up after dinner. They never speak during the talks...

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Calling All Writers and Wannabe Writers!

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Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

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You’re not supposed to be here

You’re not supposed to be here

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Why Is Advent So Dark?

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Male and Female He Created Them

Male and Female He Created Them

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No Help To Anyone

No Help To Anyone

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Getting Your Teens FIRED UP!

Getting Your Teens FIRED UP!

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Getting Your Pastor FIRED UP!

Getting Your Pastor FIRED UP!

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We want to help your ministry thrive.

5 Things To Do To Map Out Your Best Fall Calendar

5 Things To Do To Map Out Your Best Fall Calendar

(A quick note from our Blog Editor: I know, I know. WHY on EARTH am I sharing this blog about planning for FALL? We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and have no idea when or how our ministry will start meeting in person again, much less what the new school year will hold! But hear me out friends: This too shall pass. And when it does, it would be helpful to already have a clear vision and goals for returning to “normal” ministry again. So often we get swept up in the busyness and chaos of youth ministry. We are constantly running and executing youth nights, events, Confirmation, the list goes on and on! Now that all of that has been wiped off the table, take some of this precious time to plan an EPIC comeback for your ministry.)

 

Creating a calendar for your youth ministry can be extremely exciting, and overwhelming at the same time. There is so much to do and so little time, what can we do to ensure we are making a difference with our calendars? Here are some helpful tips that have helped guide us in our process.

Start Now

This may be obvious to some, but let’s be honest…..there is a reason why youth leaders have the reputation of being procrastinators. We work well on the fly. We can adapt and we pride ourselves on our flexibility. In some circumstances that may work, but if we are going to maximize the impact our ministries have on young people and their families we must get into the habit of working ahead. 3 months is a great start. 6 months is even better.

Pray

Once again I may be preaching to the choir right now, but in my own experience it’s easy to jump in, plan, strategize and create and before I know it I realize I haven’t even prayed yet. Youth leaders are creative. Entrepreneurial. In charge of the Party Planning committee. Communicators. Self Sufficient Jack of all trades. Never forget the most important thing you can do when you start to plan a calendar is to stop….pray…..and ask the Lord what He wants to do in and through You, your leaders and your ministry.

Ask the Right ?’s

I recently heard that “Great Leaders ASK Great Questions.” When we ask great questions we don’t settle for the status quo. We dream bigger. We take more risks. We are more wise. We don’t jump at the coolest idea or trend. Asking great questions center us and help us focus on what’s most important. For us, when we plan we like to ask these 4 questions…..

What do our students need?
What do our families need?
What do we hope our ministry looks like a year from now?
What in us, or our ministry needs to die?

These questions help us focus on needs, vision of where we are going and pruning which is something we all must be willing to do if we want to grow

Get Stakeholders Feedback

We have a core planning team that makes final decisions, but before we do anything we want feedback from our stakeholders. Our Parent Support Team. Our Student Leadership Team. Our Adult Volunteer team. Before we start planning for the next season of ministry we get their feedback and ideas before we put anything on. The best ideas usually come from our students and it gives them ownership. Parents give amazing insight and perspective as we plan. Our Adult leaders help us see things we might miss. We are better together so make sure you are planning events that people actually want to attend.

Be Strategic AND Trim the Fat

Once you have done all the necessary prep, it’s time to start putting events on the calendar. At this point you may have a long list of ideas from feedback and brainstorming. The reality is you can’t do it all, so layout a plan that will be strategic in helping you go after your vision. What are you trying to accomplish? How will this event help with doing that? Do these events flow well together? Are we asking too much of our leaders? Will my calendar break the bank for families? Fill you calendar and before you finalize it trim some fat. Make your calendar slim, yet effective. Full, but not overwhelming.

The Breakdown of Perfection

The Breakdown of Perfection

In the Gospel of Matthew, right after the beatitudes and in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ speaks to his disciples about loving your enemies and then gives them the highest expectation: “Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5:48)

Pluck your eye out if it causes you to sin! If you divorce, you’re committing adultery! Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Don’t be vengeful; turn the other cheek! Love your enemies!

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

How is that even obtainable? How can that even be a standard when humanity, from the beginning of Adam and Eve, has been stained by sin? How can Jesus ask me to be perfect when we are told over and over again that only God is perfect? How can He expect me to be like Him?

You start by recognizing how Christ sees perfection and how the World sees perfection is very different. Society tells us: Be well behaved! Control your emotions! Do better! Work harder! Own more things! Be more than who you really are!

The Jesus Christ in the Gospel tells us an entirely different story and if Jesus Christ was one of the two people (the other being Mary, his mother) that walked this earth perfectly, we need to follow His example.

Christ felt his emotions

In the Cleansing of the Temple (Mt. 21:12 – 17), Christ sees how the people have desecrated the temple and in a fit of righteous anger, he “overturn[s] the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.”

Then, when he discovers that his friend Lazarus has passed, the Gospel of John offers us the shortest verse: “And Jesus wept.” (Jn 11:35) Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead, but that didn’t mean that Christ didn’t experience the sorrow that accompanied the news.

Christ left everything and he told his disciples to do the same

Our society tells us to choose a job we are passionate about because our society thinks that your career is the only way to happiness. The Gospel throws this idea away. The only thing that will bring you joy is leaving everything behind. Christ embarked on his journey and wouldn’t go home because he was rejected by the people of Nazareth (Lk. 4:29). He left everything behind and so he called his disciples to do the same.

In a moment that is found in every Gospel (a rare occurrence), Christ begins his ministry by calling his first disciples into relationship and their response is to leave their jobs, their very livelihood, to follow him (Jn 1:35 – 51; Mk. 1:16 – 20; Mt. 4:18 – 22; Lk. 5:1-11).  Their jobs, no matter how well they performed and no matter how much they benefited from it monetarily, would not bring them the same joy their discipleship would. Within moments of meeting Christ, they know this and they leave everything too.

Christ went to his Father as he was

When Christ is in the Agony of the Garden, he knows that he is about to enter into the darkest part of his life: his crucifixion. He knows that it must happen, but Jesus, being beautifully human, is begging God the Father, to take away the cup, if He can. Jesus is in so much anguish and “he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.” (Lk. 22:44)

So often, we get caught up in our mess that we are afraid to approach God. Yet,  Jesus trusted God so entirely that he gave entirely of himself in the Garden and then, on the cross. Jesus went to God, simply to be with Him in his darkest hour.

Your Life, Your Choice

The question is: how could we possibly be like Jesus when he was perfect and sinless?

The answer is: we have to stop thinking about what perfection isn’t and start seeing it for what it truly was in Christ. Sin is a part of our human condition, of course, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fruit in emulating Christ.

Jesus was perfect and sinless, but perfection doesn’t look the way we think it does. In order to truly aim for perfection, we have to break it down to what it really was: emotional, fervent, and self-abandoning.

Only then can we even have a hope of truly being like Christ.

Supporting Your Teens While Social Distancing

Supporting Your Teens While Social Distancing

It’s not always the case that we can know with certainty that we are living through a historic time. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that the only certain thing we can know at this point.

With the news reports changing everyday, the number of cases fluctuating world-wide, and state governments issuing “stay at home” orders left and right, it can feel as though all the tools in your ministry belt are now useless.

Fear not! Your teens need you now more than ever. As they are now forced to stay home, the enemy wants to make us feel isolated, ineffective, and irrelevant. However, the Gospel of Jesus is never irrelevant and His message of hope is one that is especially needed right now. We just need to get a little creative in how we do this.

One of the beautiful qualities of youth ministers is that we are used to adapting. Technology problems? No problem, we’ll stall or act the video out ourselves. Speaker cancel last minute? We have a prayer activity to do instead. No schedule or itinerary for an event you are signed up to attend? It’s okay, we’ll come armed with icebreakers and a deck of Uno cards in our back pocket until we figure it out.

Now, it’s time to use those skills to creatively think of ways to reach out to our teens. Here are a few ways to spread Christ’s message of hope in these difficult times:

Write your teens letters

The art of letter writing has almost been lost. Resurrect that for your teens and give them something that will put a smile on their face long after they’re done reading the letter. Even if it’s a quick note, a funny joke, or a picture of your youth group, this is a small way for your teens to feel seen and known.

Use technology to your advantage

Meet your teens where they are at: online. Post on Instagram and Facebook different bible verses and encouragement. Livestream yourself praying the rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Host “virtual” bible studies through Zoom or Google Hangouts (just make sure you have parental permission first).

Bake/Make Something

If you can, bake or home make something (who doesn’t love a good cookie) and drop them off at your teens doorstep. This is just a small way that you can show you care about them.

PRAY

I know this is an obvious one. But when you think about it, when was the last time we had time to pray for our teens? Like really pray. Pray over their needs, pray over their dreams, pray over their families. Name them each by name. Give them over to Jesus and our Mother Mary, who can minister to them in a way we will never be able to. I have found a lot of freedom entrusting my teens to Jesus and Our Blessed Mother because I know they are in good hands.

We were not given a spirit of fear and timidity but of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7). This is a great time to walk in that truth and continue to minister to the youth the Lord has entrusted to us.

Your Worth as a Youth Minister

Your Worth as a Youth Minister

One of the worst feelings I have ever felt was on a Sunday night in the middle of the summer. I had prepared a fun youth event that included tye-dye and a bible study on the Creation story. Ten minutes had gone by and no one had showed up. Not a single soul. I sat in...

Joy in Youth Ministry: Being Buoyed by Hope

Joy in Youth Ministry: Being Buoyed by Hope

While not-so-innocently meandering around the Hobby Lobby this month, I found myself drawn, as usual, to the décor aisles. Scattered about the adorable canvas signs (silently beckoning, “Buy me!”) I noticed a few signs with the phrase “Choose Joy” artfully painted on...

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Ministry is great, isn’t it? The teens are always smiling and laugh at all of your jokes. They are super polite to every parent and volunteer who walks through the door. They eat all of their food and even help clean up after dinner. They never speak during the talks...

Calling All Writers and Wannabe Writers!

Calling All Writers and Wannabe Writers!

ProjectYM is looking for some youth ministers and core team members to write for our blog! The ProjectYM blog is a place where readers all over the world come to find useful information to help them thrive in their ministry. We publish articles that touch the...

Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

It’s so easy to get swept up in the Advent season to get excited about Mary and Elizabeth and John the Baptist and on and on and on. There are so many giants of our faith in Advent that it’s easy to glance over Joseph. He is huge figure in the life of Jesus and an...

You’re not supposed to be here

You’re not supposed to be here

One Tuesday night, around 10:15, my doorbell rang. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be stopping by my house that day, much less at bedtime, so I confusedly made my way to the door to see what nitwit would be showing up so late, ready to give them a piece of my mind about...

Why Is Advent So Dark?

Why Is Advent So Dark?

Parishes love to do things differently in the season of Advent. Liturgy committees try to change up the scene beyond just the colors and decor. It’s a way to try to change our view from the familiar and jar us into considering Who is coming at Christmas. One way I’ve...

Male and Female He Created Them

Male and Female He Created Them

I remember the looks on their faces at my first youth ministers conference; they were tired- no- exhausted. Wide-eyed and eager to learn what the call of being a youth minister looked like, I was already feeling defeated. What was I getting myself into? And then I got...

No Help To Anyone

No Help To Anyone

Mass is always a struggle for us. It’s just the phase of life we are in right now. With four little ones ages 6 and under who have been over-exposed to screens and live in an instant gratification world, asking them to participate in Mass for one hour each week seems...

Getting Your Teens FIRED UP!

Getting Your Teens FIRED UP!

Nothing can zap your energy quite like walking into the youth room and seeing the teens just sitting there on their phones, bored out of their minds. Here is how to get YOUR teens fired up! Know Your Why (and share it!) Make sure you know why your ministry exists, but...