Once you have secured a large space for your youth group meetings, the next step in launching a successful youth ministry is to come up with engaging activities that will keep your young people engaged and help them grow in their faith. One great way to do this is to ask 'would you rather questions for middle school' that will spark meaningful conversations and encourage critical thinking. This could be a room in your church or another location in the community. You'll also need to decide on the length of the meetings, such as two hours ending at 8 p.m., or 6-8 p.m. including a meal.
Once you have the space and time set, you can start inviting people to join your youth group. Send out an invitation letter one month in advance and follow up with a phone call. Make additional calls to those who showed interest the day before each meeting, especially for the first one. Before launching your youth ministry, it's important to get some training from your diocesan youth coordinator on how to engage with young people and plan a program.
They could also hold an information session after the first two or three meetings. Invite your senior youth and include them in the planning of the first event. It's important to start small and let the ministry grow organically as your church grows. Create a vision, agree on a philosophy, develop a plan, communicate passionately, and do something.
This will require an investment, but it will be worth it when you see a generation of teenagers passionately following Jesus. You'll need to recruit several energetic and creative leaders to spread the burden and keep things fresh. Seek advice from people who have done youth ministry before, such as faculty members who teach youth ministry at CSU. Read books such as Perspectives on Family Ministry, Sustainable Youth Ministry, 7 Essentials of Family Ministry, and Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry to get ideas for your ministerial philosophy. It's important to make sure that your youth ministry is engaging and relevant to young people's lives.
Make sure that what they learn in the youth group is connected to their family life and real life experiences. Promote your youth ministry internally by constantly spreading the word about what you are accomplishing there so that church leaders and parents understand its importance. Delegation is also key; learn how to delegate tasks so that everyone is involved in the ministry. When starting a youth ministry from scratch, it's important to take time to consider what kind of initiative or trajectory you want it to take before launching it. Think about how your model of youth ministry can cultivate and grow young people into more like Jesus.
The best time to consider this is just before the momentum of the current approach has peaked.