- Last Active
One of my favorite resources for games is "Best-Ever Games for Youth Ministry" by Les Christie.1
Doing a book study with my Core Team has been one of the best experiences I've had in ministry. We reflect on a different spiritual author every semester and spend part of our Core Team meeting in prayer before the blessed sacrament followed by reflection on what we've read and how the Lord is working through the particular text. At the end of our time of prayer and reflection we talk about what our resolution is going to be for the coming weeks and we spend some time praying for one another.
Books that have been especially useful for this type of study are "The Soul of the Apostolate" by Jean-Baptiste Chautard, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a' Kempis, "Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta" by Mother Teresa and Brian Kolodiejchuk, "Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux" by St. Therese of Lisieux, "The Way, The Furrow, and The Forge" by St. Jose Maria Escriva, etc.1
I encourage teens to bring their phones. We incorporate them in a variety of different ways whether it's having them text, snap, and insta before a big event inviting their friends. Or sending out messages to the kids in their small groups who didn't make it to a particular night. We also invite the kids to share their favorite moments on social media.1
If I had 10 minutes a day to spend with high school youth, instead of using a devotional book... I'd teach them a different type of prayer and practice it with them for a month at a time. I might start with something simple like The Examen by Saint Ignatius and then go into Lectio Divine, Ignatian Meditation, etc. But, thats just me! I think that its important to teach our kids different schools of prayer so as to help them find what works for them during this season of their life. I also might suggest having the kids keep some type prayer journal that they can reflect back on throughout the school year.1
I'm all about the notion that as youth ministers we're called, not simply to offer events at our parish that impact youth, but to meet young people "literally" where they are at. One of the ways that I try to do this regularly is by scheduling time for sporting events, plays, musicals, concerts, etc that the youth at my parish are involved in. Also, I take the time to visit various schools throughout the year (including our parish school) for lunch with the teens. Outside of that I try and schedule a time once a week to meet at a coffee shop with a group of our teens to hang out in an informal setting. By taking the time out of my week to implement these small practices, I've seen the depth and breadth of the relationships that I've built with these young people change in a way that I didn't know was possible.2