The term “youth ministry” is a broad, all encompassing term which frequently conjures up certain mental images – a group of young people sharing Bible study together, a Fall retreat, a progressive dinner, a weekend retreat, a summer social action project. A youth ministry that focuses itself solely on the “traditional” youth fellowship group runs the risk of becoming a partial, incomplete ministry. Ideally, youth ministry does not isolate young people from the mainstream of a congregation’s life, or create weekly programs exclusively to entertain young people, rather, its goal should be to move young people from the weekly youth fellowship programs and activities into the wider arena of congregational life. (From "Handbook for Ministries with Young Adolescents" by The Episcopal Church Center 1996)
Resources to help you look at youth ministry in your Parish
Do you have a youth ministry program in your parish (a program for middle school and/or high school aged students)? If so, how well are you doing? If not, what are you considering? What is your goal or outcome hopes for youth ministry? How much energy and what level of commitment do the people in your parish have for this ministry? What are your resources? The following is intended to help you assess youth ministry in your parish, and help you as you look and plan for the future. Click here to download this resource.
What are the Top 10 Characteristics of a Healthy Youth Ministry? Click here to download the list.
Adapted from the Handbook for Ministries with Young and Older Adolescents from The Episcopal Church Center. Click to download the Ten Commandments for Youth Leaders
Exemplary Youth Ministry
Kenda Creasy Dean is an author who's been at the forefront of Relational Ministry.
Creating a Plan
How do you plan for your school year? You can find information, resources, and a printable calendar on our Education Planning webpage.
Youth groups can be an important part of the overall youth ministry in a parish. It give the young people an opportunity to share with similar people, the same as a women's or men's group. But also similar to those groups, it shouldn't be the only thing a parish offers.
We believe the goal of youth ministry is to help the young grow with God, and this can't be done by keeping them in an isolated group. They need to see and be a part of the larger church - they need to interact with adult mature Christians, worship, serving and playing along side them.
Youth Topics - Pages on this Site
Planning and Creating a Youth Program
Curriculum for Youth (middle school & high school, Sunday School & Youth Group)
Teacher & Mentor Support - adults who work with children & youth
Youth Topics - Other Sites
Episcopal Youth Camp (in the Diocese of Western Micchigan