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  • Re: How do I get my pastor to understand what youth ministry actually takes to be successful?

    Start by realizing you and your pastor are on the same team. Ask him, "what is your vision for youth ministry here at the parish? What are the challenges, needs and opportunities as you see them?" Then you can have a conversation about any disparities you see and pray together about ways to approach the challenges and needs together, from a united front.

    Also, ask for the intercession of whoever your parish is named for. Hope that helps!

  • Re: Is there ever a time in which we tell someone "NO" to volunteering?

    I have struggled with this too. I find having clear expectations, responsibility and a core covenant so they know what they are committing to, and doing periodic assessments will often help people see when they need to be removed from ministry, or at least start the conversation. I think always doing sometimes of gifts assessment and help them discern where they might best serve so they don't feel like the Church doesn't want or need them!

  • Re: Any thoughts on event follow-up activities?

    If your pastor is on board, planning a Sunday where teens can share a witness or testimony from the event at Mass(es).

    Creating small groups that can continue for accountability, support, prayer and discipleship is a great follow up that will be lasting and not just a one time reunion.

    Maybe a service project or day of service together?

    Hope that helps!

  • Re: Trip & Conference Choices

    I heard of a great system where you personally invite teens each year to enter into a new experience each summer. I think it was:

    Freshman: Parish retreat
    Sophomore: Steubenville
    Junior: Summer camp
    Senior: LTLC

    Don't feel like you have to do everything every Summer, and talk to people who have gone to see what the experiences have to offer, praying about which one meets your teens needs the best.

  • Energy-burning games

    I have always found much greater success with Middle schoolers focusig when they can burn off their energy with a game at the beginning of an EDGE night. What are some high-intensity, fun games that have worked for you?