Relating to our Young Adults

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John_C

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Hello Everyone!

I am joining a team that runs our Youth Ministries group at our parish and I would love to bring some fresh ideas. But even more importantly I would love to contribute towards making a difference in a young adult’s life.

My belief is that we need to effectively provide guidance to our teenagers/young adults (12 - 18 year olds) to help them develop an enthusiasm for living our Catholic faith. But how do we connect with them, how do we generate that enthusiam???

Priests homilies, parent lectures, religion teacher instructions often do not reach this age group.

I believe that there are many wonderful creative ideas out there and I am hoping that some of you will share your positive experiences in effectively connecting with young adults.

Any (name removed by moderator)ut will be greatly appreciated!

God Bless,
John C
 
Adoration!! Young adults respond with fervor to Adoration!! Play some praise and worship Music-- guide their thoughts a bit and let them lay prostrate before the God of the Universe!!

I am the adult moderator for Spirit and Truth here at UGA-- and the whole premise of Spirit and Truth (a dioscesan-wide program in Atlanta) is to have young people come before the Lord in Adoration- and they come out in droves throughout the diocese!If you are interested I can try to hunt down a link!!
 
Kids won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. If you want to connect with kids, praise they when they are doing right, correct them sternly, but respectfully when they are wrong. Teenagers now more than ever are looking to adults for LEADERSHIP. They want to know which path they should take in life and appreciate it when someone in a position of authority tells them when and why something they do is wrong. When I was a teenager, there were far too many permissive adults trying to schmooze up to us and “make us feel good about ourselves”. Even if that meant allowing us to sin and telling us everything would be alright. They didn’t want to step on our toes.

When I was in boot camp, not more than 3 weeks before I was in a Catholic Youth Group, I had both extremes for my Drill Instructors. I tell you what, the person I respected most and would follow unflinchingly into combat was the one who kicked my butt when I slacked off. But he also rewarded the troops when we performed. Its all about leadership. If you want to appeal to the kids and be the kind of person they would want to follow, be the kind of person YOU would want to follow.
 
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ShanMcCatholic:
Adoration!! Young adults respond with fervor to Adoration!! Play some praise and worship Music-- guide their thoughts a bit and let them lay prostrate before the God of the Universe!!
NO!!!

Do not have bands and pentacostal type music, waving hands in front of the blessed sacraments!!!
 
I think it is important to make what is said to them relevant to their lives, to their world. It is one thing to tell them what the Church teaches about Christ and salvation but wholly another to make that relevant to them. Show them why it matters and how it integrates into their life. Show them why it is valueable to them in life.

Also I think honesty (being real) and love go a long way. Many young people can see through the phonies. I think people who truly do take an interest in young people, who will love and listen to them, will get their ear before some others alot of times.

Just my few cents.

Christ’s peace to you.
 
It has to be real, and it has to be challenging.

First of all you need a good priest who says to the parents and the kids, this is important and I expect the kids to show up and participate. You need the priest to be educating the parents while you educate the kids.You need the parents to value youth group, so kids get delivered to the meetings. You need the CCD teachers to push for the kids to attend.
Second you need activities of all kinds: bible studies, faith lessons, group discussions, visits to nursing homes, guest speakers, sleep-overs, dances, lock-ins, working at food pantries, field trips, and service to the local church etc.

And finally and most importantly you need a lot of prayers.
 
As a young adult (mid-20s) I think the most important thing is faith formation. I grew up with all of my religious education ‘sugar coated’ in an attempt to make faith seem ‘fun’. This turned a lot of people off because they get a sense of security thinking that we can get lazy in our faith and we don’t have to worry about it.

Look at your pews - it’s probably rare to see a lot of 20-somethings in them. It’s not that we’ve all turned away from our faith, we just don’t think it’s important because we’ve grown up hearing that God loves us so much that even if we do wrong, we’re still going to be OK. Of course we all know how much God loves us, but we need more than that.

We need and will respond to learning about the faith. I was a luke warm Catholic like so many young people, but then I found Catholic Answers and began to learn why we believe what we believe, and things started to make sense. We need to hear the truth, and we need to understand the faith. Teach us why being Catholic is so important and you’ll see us start to trickle back.
 
Well as a teenager I can tell you the most important thing is fun. But too much fun isn’t good either, or else it losses the religous emphasis. I really don’t think a preist should be running it though. I feel the people that work most with the students should be around 25, these people are easiest to communicate too. Now a preist could pop his head in every once in a while, but teens would have a harder time communicating with a preist in the room.

The lock-in type things are all great. It’s important to have discussions and debates, let the students lead them, don’t lecture, but step in after a controversial point may have been made, or the consensus seems to go anti-Catholic.
 
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Dave:
As a young adult (mid-20s) I think the most important thing is faith formation. I grew up with all of my religious education ‘sugar coated’ in an attempt to make faith seem ‘fun’. This turned a lot of people off because they get a sense of security thinking that we can get lazy in our faith and we don’t have to worry about it.

Look at your pews - it’s probably rare to see a lot of 20-somethings in them. It’s not that we’ve all turned away from our faith, we just don’t think it’s important because we’ve grown up hearing that God loves us so much that even if we do wrong, we’re still going to be OK. Of course we all know how much God loves us, but we need more than that.

We need and will respond to learning about the faith. I was a luke warm Catholic like so many young people, but then I found Catholic Answers and began to learn why we believe what we believe, and things started to make sense. We need to hear the truth, and we need to understand the faith. Teach us why being Catholic is so important and you’ll see us start to trickle back.
Yes!:tiphat:
  1. As far as catechism/classes/youth group. There is a need for revelance, but also for solid doctrine. Expierential and “situational” teaching, as well as “real life stories” can have a role, but not a domineering one. The old memorisation from the Baltimore #2 might not be the best method, but utilising a firm teaching, including using straightfiward Catechisms like the Baltimore combined with things of “inspiration” and experiential would be more successful
  2. Adoration is a great practice to take a Catechism class to
  3. However, Masses, especially ones that flagrantly ignore Church law (such as standing around the altar for the consercration), that are “suited” to teens should not be used. If it has illicit practices (like some Life Teens do) it teaches the wrong thing. Also the focus should be on God, as well as the fact that many will see through it as hollow
Teach the faith, unadulterated. Don’t have segragated Masses regularily for teens. When there is a special Mass, like one for a catechism class, by all means make the homily relevant to the audience, but don’t refrain and don’t use fluff. Hearing the same thing over and over doesn’t help, especially when hollow. Saying something that might even cause them to disagree is better, cause then they are at least being stimulated by it.

Also, don’t try to snag people with endorphins. Yes loud music, clapping, etc. might be fun and get them involved, but it wears off, and the foundation is gone. Traditional Reverence, believe it or no, does captivate youth. I am not speaking necessarily of Chant and thuribers. No, but just basic piety goes a long way in impressing the import off it all.

And lastly wrt individual youth, make sure that (if you are a youth leader) that you mantain a relationship where they can trust you. An atmosphere where they can talk freely. In my experience I remember a retreat for Confirmation. The guy next to me had had problems with drugs and etc. We were talking about God’s mercy and that God would accept a repentant heart (in less lofty terms), in other words that he was not damned or lost. But the “counselors” would interupt us and accost us for talking why they tried to have us work with “praise music”, that really by this point was not captivating anyone. The counselors were trrying to be “relevant” but missing what they should have addressed. I spent a good chunk of time discussing with other youth and answering questions, “No you don’t need to receive from the chalice to have full Communion”, “Yes Confession is necessary before communion if you commit mortal sin”, “no the Church doesn’t allow cases for abortion”. Even when it was more debate than discussion, both the person and I learned something. And it was precisely the “offensive” issues (e.g. abortion, contraception, divorce) that got people heated and helped to instruct them in the Faith the most.

BTW, I am 18
 
Definately agree, the best way to get high schoolers involved is to get them angry and at their throats, thats when they learn. They build defenses and attack.

I’m a junior in High school, class debates are never fun when everyone agrees on something, and no one learns anything if its not controversial.
 
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beng:
NO!!!

Do not have bands and pentacostal type music, waving hands in front of the blessed sacraments!!!
Let me highly recommend some year making your way to Atlanta for the Eucharistic Congress… where 10’s of thousands of people gather to adore the Lord in the Eucharist. A huge percentage of those who gather are young adults. It doesn’t have to be singing as the Blessed Sacrament is exposed-- but young people predominantly like some good music which expresses their beliefs in words they understand – it needn’t be non-Catholic. Bringing young people in through means that they are comfortable allows them to grow in Eucharistic devotion- and from there grow in orthodoxy. I personally know of many young people who began their journey into the center of the Universe precisely through those songs you loathe as an enterance into Adoration-- and have grown to be staunch supporters of orthodox CAtholic liturgy and belief.
 
It must be made very clear what it means to be a Christian Catholic. “Christian” means to follow Christ. But what does that mean in today’s world? What is Christ asking each of us to BE for Him?

Also, what are we doing about The Great Commission? Are we to have Christ in our hearts and not tell anyone about Him? He is asking more of us. Today’s young people are very generous and will respond to Christ. “Our hearts were made for Thee, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in Thee.”

Give them Jesus… If He lives in their hearts, they will follow Him (and His Church) to the ends of the earth!

Maresiedotes
 
TEACH THEM CATHOLICISM in modern english! So many of our young people were born and raised Catholic and don’t know why we do what we do. Don’t use the big Catholic/latin. Too many of our young people are being pulled away from the church because they do not understand.
Code:
They do not want to hear, "We do ..... because we are Catholic.

Prepare them to defend their faith.
Good Luck and God Bless,

Davis Gray
CFC-Singles For Christ, Chicago Chapter
 
Contrary to popular belief, young adults don’t like wishy-washy bless-me-club forms of religion. They hunger for the truth. Stay orthodox! Don’t shy away from things like chasity, modesty, and pro-life!
 
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StBasil:
Also I think honesty (being real) and love go a long way. Many young people can see through the phonies.
Love without justice is no love at all!

I have seen groups where the “love” that is flowing is so thick it made me want to throw-up. I questioned this for a long time - "Why does that seem so phonies to me, it was not until it was pointed out to me that the love lacks justice.

We must love as our Heavenly Father loves us, if we love without a sense of justice than in fact we are phoney. And kids are not stupid, they want leaders who care … really care! care enough to point out what is sin, where it lies and how do I fight it.

For those looking for phoney love - call Barney the dinosaur!
 
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