Rebuilding Youth Ministry: Ten Practical Strategies for Catholic Parishes


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Christopher Wesley is on the front lines of youth ministry. He’s been in the parish trenches, refocusing an unpopular youth program and making it one where teens feel connected, stay involved, and grow in faith. In Rebuilding Youth Ministry, Wesley offers ten indispensable strategies to help you make your youth programs just as successful.

Wesley coaches fellow Catholic ministry leaders on how to overcome common hurdles of ministering to young people. Wesley shares how he faced feelings of complacency, underestimated youth, and entertained rather than ministered in his own parish. Wesley built a distinctive program based on small group faith formation and sustained it with the assistance of more than sixty volunteer adult mentors.

Wesley lays out ten strategies that helped grow participation in his high school program from nine teens to ninety and the middle school program from forty teens to eighty-five, including:

  • Making your youth program about more than pizza;
  • Pursuing authentic relationships between small groups and mentors;
  • Shaping a dynamic youth ministry team; and
  • Creating a space that’s welcoming to teens.
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