YDisciple - Feedback or Experience?

Our parish is made up of around 1800 households. We have several hundred high school aged teens. Over the past three years, we have struggled to grow our youth ministry program because we have had very high turnover with our youth ministers. Last year's YM resigned around Thanksgiving (after a major screw up on his end) and the year was finished out by several adult volunteers.

Here's my topic for discussion ... We have had this program, YDisciple, running for the past few years. One parent sort of "brought the program" to our old DRE and they implemented it in our high school youth ministry. However, we've found that it's not working well for us for several reasons. I don't want to state what they are - yet - because I would love to know what anyone else's experience with YDisciple has been and how it has worked, or not worked, at your parish.

In case you are not familiar - https://www.augustineinstitute.org/formed/ydisciple/


  • I have not used it, but a friend at a nearby parish has. From what they told me it took on too much of a classroom feel at their parish, something both of us were trying to get away from.

  • How long our your youth group nights? I have been a youth minister for 6 months. I was previously an elementary/secondary educator for 10 years. I find that my YG uses Life teen. Here is our schedule:
    6:30-7:00~ Into- some sort of ice breaker- In it to win it or basketball during warmer weather.
    7:00- 7:15 Gather **-
    we open with praye****r in a semi circle and introduce the topic. We play the video of the upcoming Sunday Mass.
    7:15- 7:45
    Proclaim**-Discuss follow Life teen breakout session
    7:45- 7:55 we come back together in semi circle and talk about the topic of the night. I sometimes show another video.
    7:55-8:00 We say a blessing before we eat
    8:00-8:25 Have Pizza and I interact and remind teens of up coming events,
    8:25-8:30 Send- Close with a prayer

  • @spxnc_youth We attempted to implement YDisciple at All Souls and were met with many challenges as well. The content itself is well done but, our youth struggled with the concept of "being talked at" through a video format. They had a hard time taking the videos seriously and would spend time making fun of the speakers. All in all, we decided to get rid of the program entirely. That's not to say that the content isn't good and can't be used or implemented in a parish setting, but it didn't work with our youth. They desired to have a dialogue with a person, not just to have someone they didn't know talk at them via a video.
    As an alternate to YDisciple, I was thrilled when Life Teen began to offer small group resources like Summit and Unleashed. These are incredible resources that can be adapted to where a group of teens are at without turning small group ministry into just another program. The reality is that most teens don't want to be talked at, they want to have a dialogue. Even more so, they desire relationship. They want to be known, heard, and valued.

  • We used it as our curriculum for high school freshman. We separated them into small groups of 10-14. The kids really liked it and we had good feedback from parents. I different way to use it as it was intended. Not ideal but worked well.Last year was our first year. It is not being continued in subsequent grades, just with freshman.

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