The Role of Youth Ministry in the Church: Preparing the Future of the Faith

The church has a vital role to play in the lives of young people, as it is essential to teach them to grow in their relationship with the Lord. This will prepare them to serve Christ in all aspects of their lives, and will ultimately nourish the congregation and allow the church to thrive. To ensure that the body of Christ continues to grow, it is necessary to start with the future of the church: its youth. The goal is to teach young people in the church how to trust and deepen their relationship with God.

This experience will encourage them to remain faithful to Christ as they age. The church itself will benefit from this, as will its congregation. Young people want to learn from those who care about them; they want to be seen and heard. When youth ministries create opportunities for students to build meaningful relationships with adult believers, they lay the foundation for evangelism and discipleship.

Youth ministry works collaboratively with families, encouraging students in grades 6-12 in their Christian faith through a variety of activities, weekly meetings, retreats, and missionary experiences. As a Christian ministry, our goal is to actively participate in making disciples, cultivating community, serving others, and welcoming everyone. Field activities range from small groups of young people attached to Catholic parishes or schools, to large international meetings such as World Youth Day. The purpose of the Youth Ministry program is to prepare students for effective ministry to middle school, high school or college students and their families within the context of a local church or parachurch organization.

Youth ministries that are truly intentional can link any event or activity to the overall mission of the ministry. While youth ministry was previously seen as a stepping stone on the path to becoming priests, nuns, and other important vocations, the trend is currently moving toward treating it as its own vocation. She has been volunteering and paid for parish youth ministries and diocesan youth ministries for eight years. Many Bible and Christian universities and colleges now offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in youth ministry.

Older pastors (17%) are more likely than youth pastors (10%) to emphasize that “serving the community”; however “serving the church body” is at the bottom of both groups' lists (6% of senior pastors and 4% of young pastors). So what do you do in a youth group? How often do you meet and what do you discuss? These are all legitimate questions for anyone thinking of starting or joining a church youth group. Youth ministries that focus on discipleship and prioritize discipleship help students walk in obedience to Christ's commandments through a Christ-centered relationship with a mature believer. Anyone interested in starting or joining a youth group should understand that commitment and coherence are the keys to success. For example, a group of young Christians encourages participation in both church and community as ambassadors for Christ as they grow and begin to learn and have more experience.

Summarizing Parent ExpectationsParents have their own set of priorities when it comes to their child's youth ministry experience. Youth Ministry is a church-wide ministry that strives to provide a variety of opportunities and experiences to attract adolescents to active and responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the faith community and the church at large.