The Beatles had a little song called Eight Days a Week, a reference that they were working so hard, they were working eight days a week. Always seemed like a potential theme song for youth ministers to me. We are continuing a weekly series to serve you over your next eight days with eight notes and sets of links for your information and formation. Feel free to borrow anything for your own newsletters (but offer Project YM some love while doing it, please) Here goes:
- Mark Oestreicher recently updated his views on teenagers and materialism. The series breaks into part 1 setting up the topic; part 2 addressing the futility of addressing materialism head-on with teenagers; part 3 suggesting that consumerism is the real issue, not materialism; and, part 4 Top 10 signs your youth ministry might be built on consumeristic assumptions. Real good stuff!
- Going counter-cultural regarding materialism, you might consider a free download of Walk With Me: A 21 Day Prayer Journey Around the World. This book of inspirational prayers, courtesy from our friends at Catholic Relief Service, will take you to remote places and allow you to share your love by praying for those who need it most.
- Sticking with the theme, we are offering this week’s image meme (from Money magazine, of all places) which might be helpful in reminding us and those we serve that one of Pope Francis’s prayer intentions for September is that Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering. (Meanwhile, HuffPost provided the above title image, a left-over from this summer’s World Cup insanity.)
- Coming up: Just a few more days to get in your nomination for great Catholic speakers as part of Project YM’s Support a Catholic Speaker Month. Meanwhile, ReBuild My Church 7.0 hits your screens in one month, October 2nd, at Noon and 7pm central.
- My parish’s youth ministry guy, Christopher Wesley, recently reflected on lessons learned from a decade of service to the church.
- If you have been in ministry for a while (like Chris) you know kids and the cultural situations are always changing. The National Catholic Reporter has two reviews of recent books covering research regarding the whole “spiritual but not religious” thingee. We in youth ministry must be able to translate generations to the adult community, so you’ll also find Tim Elmore’s update on Generation Z, the Homelanders, and this Macleans’s report (hello, Canada!) helpful. Meanwhile, Robert Feducia weights in with a reminder that we are called, as missionary disciples, to not make our first concern about winning airtight arguments. Our first concern has to be the encounter with Jesus.
- Pope Francis reminds us that Being a catechist means witnessing to the faith, being consistent in our personal life. This is not easy! We help, we lead others to Jesus with our words and our lives, with our witness. As Catechetical Sunday is coming September 21, please make sure to take advantage of your parish’s programming and resources.
- Finally, always remember, that both we and God Ain’t got nothing but love, babe (for those that do youth ministry even if you are wearing a zebra’s head to your next Youth Night) eight days a week. Or as Caroline Schultz reminds us, God is with us, so Be Not Afraid!