From the beginning of my ministry, one of the things I’ve focused on was helping teens 1-on-1 through individual spiritual mentoring. Some people thought that was the exclusive domain for religious and clergy but I saw no reason lay people couldn’t do the vast majority of it. Back in 2007, I realized the need for some way to form lay people for this ministry. It took me a while to get everything together and it changed several times: originally I wanted to do a more restricted course only for those involved in Conquest which is the specific form of youth ministry I spent most time in; and it changed between a weekend course, online course and finally to a book called Spiritually Mentoring Teenage Boys: Personal Dialogue to Make Young Saints. Now, it’s finally available for purchase.
The theme of the book is exactly what the title is: spiritually mentoring teenage boys. I’m trying to find a female co-author to revise it to make Spiritually Mentoring Teenage Girls in a year or two.
Personal relationships and hence mentoring have repetitively been shown by studies and experience to be one of the best ways to keep teens as active Catholics and to push them up to the next level of being apostles. Mentoring asks teens for their best instead of being satisfied with minimalism and later disconnect from the Church. Starting mentoring in a parish’s youth ministry will change the whole dynamic.
I’m not saying it’s easy; I noted above that it took me 7 years to go from the initial idea to a published book. However, I think the teens we’re dealing with are worth this extra effort. Hopefully, you agree.
Instead of discussing it endlessly, I’m going to post what others who’ve had a change to read it are saying about it and a link to buy the book:
“What a great book! This book is a very practical tool to help form teenage boys into great men of God! If you are a man and you deal with teenage boys you NEED this book. I highly recommend it!”
Fr. Larry Richards
Author of Be a Man
“Mentoring, or apprenticing is an essential, but forgotten form of learning “the do” of discipleship. Fr. Matthew offers a wonderful primer, packed with relevant information to help the Church rediscover this essential practice.”
Executive Director of Cultivation Ministries
“Fr Matthew has always been one of the clearest thinkers I’ve known regarding youth ministry. I am happy to have him on my team. Spiritual Mentoring is an important aspect of the Conquest youth ministry program, but so far it has been very difficult to train men in this unique methodology. Fr Schneider has demonstrated skill in spiritual mentoring and I hope this book can help inspire men to truly lead boys spirituality closer to God.”
Conquest Clubs National Director
“Father Matthew has the ability to tackle important church issues and write about them in a way that is engaging, thoughtful, and challenging. His love for the Catholic faith is evident in his writing as his desire that young people know Christ.”
Director of Youth Ministry, Archdiocese of Vancouver
“Experiencing personal, unconditional, friendly, and demanding accompaniment is essential for the growth of teenagers – in order to bring them to Christ. Fr Matthew understands teenagers and what is needed to accompany them well.”
Director of the Center for Studies on Adolescence and Youth at Francisco de Vitoria University, Madrid
(Sonia is one of my mentors [yes, I speak Spanish]. I studied under her and I helped translate a book that her team wrote into English. She wrote this originally in Spanish: “Experimentar un acompañamiento personal, incondicional, cordial y exigente es esencial para el crecimiento de los adolescentes, para llevarles a Cristo. El P. Matthew comprende bien a los adolescentes y lo que necesitan en ese acompañamiento”)
So if you want to buy my book, you can buy it on Kindle or paperback on Amazon.com. Or you can go direct to the publisher and get 25% off the paperback if you buy it before Sunday (June 22) by entering discount code H8PMPMCV (this deal only works on the publisher’s site and I recommend copy and paste).