“Youth ministry is more than a program; it’s a relationship between the parish and its young members. At its heart, there is a pattern of listening, caring, responding and sharing” (Tom East: 2003)
Why is Youth Ministry so important?
Youth ministry is essentially about coming together as a community to be there for our young people, to offer them a supportive foundation from which they can draw strength and spiritual nourishment as they go about their lives.
It’s about developing good relationships through which we can listen, communicate and share our faith and in turn nourish the health and future of the church.
This is particularly important at this current time because many parishes are experiencing real difficulty in sustaining the faith of young people – sometimes after they make their First Holy Communion and almost certainly after they make their Confirmation.
In essence, there is a gap in the life of the church for young people which can be addressed through our re-visioning of youth ministry and this is why this initiative is so timely and important.
Youth Ministry – Current issues for Bromley parishes
The transmission of faith and story is vital to the ongoing health of the Church, however parishes are experiencing real difficulties in sustaining the faith experience for young people post Holy Communion. Maintaining and developing good relationships with young people as they grow and mature is made even more difficult due to the lack of a Catholic secondary school in the Borough of Bromley.
Consultation with priests and parishioners in the Bromley deanery has revealed a growing need for tools and resources to enable them to:
- Communicate effectively and connect with our young people as they grow and mature.
- Listen to the experience of young people – learn to appreciate their reality, attend to their needs, questions and concerns.
- Develop appropriate skills to engage in conversation, learning together the language of faith and meaning that is authentic for our time and circumstances.
Working together as a deanery will enable the sharing of ideas and best practice and can provide the essential elements of challenge, momentum and continuity required to implement an effective youth ministry program.