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Laying The Groundwork

Commentary » Laying The Groundwork


Relationships, Not Programs

Last Revised on February 19, 2012

In this document we have outlined the standards that make youth ministry effective and have included an assessment tool parishes can use to see effective ministry is in their community. The components of youth ministry are named and outlined. Practical advice is given. The ministry of athletics is well represented here, with the entire athletic handbook appearing in Section 9. We have covered essential issues facing youth ministry leaders, such as prayer, adolescent catechesis, and pastoral care.

It is essential to remember that this document is not static in nature. This document is not complete until you, the clergy and lay people in the parish and school communities, read it, embrace it, and work with others to put it into action. Even then the document will not be final. There will always be more resources to add and policies to update. This truly is, and will continue to be, a work in progress.

Please be sure to always keep in mind that youth ministry is more about reaching young people than gathering them. This document provides tools to assist you and other adult leaders in effectively reaching out to young people while providing guidelines and policies for those times when young people gather together. Youth ministry at its best is a relationship based on the needs of young people in the parish. This document will help those in leadership identify those needs, build these relationships, and effectively minister to all young people in the community.

The document is not meant to provide an answer to every situation in every setting. One model will never suit all settings. One vision, however, should guide all those in ministry in establishing effective youth ministry. This document seeks to articulate that vision. It will not cover everything, nor is it intended to. Please let CYM know if you discover glaring errors, omissions, or problems.

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