Youth and Young Adult Ministry: Why Traditional Catechesis Bores Many Young Adults

Authored by Marcel LeJeune in Issue #2.3 of The Catechetical Review

Trying to catechize a young adult who has never had a conversion to Jesus is like trying to teach marine biology to someone who has never seen an ocean. We might be able to transmit some knowledge, but we might also leave him or her disinterested to the reality that the ocean is dynamic, beautiful, and powerful.

Herein lies the issue in many of our current catechetical models with young adults in the Catholic Church: our sequence, method, and execution of young adult faith formation is not working because it is out of order, ineffective, and unattractive to young people.

The statistics tell us only one side of the story, yet they also help frame our problem with young adults in the Catholic Church. According to Pew Research, only 30% of Catholic adults are still “practicing” their faith (that is, attend Mass at least monthly). Another 38% self-identify as Catholics, though they rarely attend Mass. That leaves nearly 32% who no longer identify as Catholics.[i] In the young adult population, the numbers are even worse.
Other questions arise: How many of those who go to Mass are intentional disciples who understand their identity as children of God? How many are open to sharing their faith? How many are seeking out opportunities to serve the poor? How many have a personal prayer life? How many are making good moral decisions?

While the numbers can seem overwhelming, the opportunities to make a change to something better are everywhere. For decades, the Church’s mode of operation with young adults in the average local community hasn’t changed much. Consequently, most young people feel disenfranchised from the Church and many have stopped caring about faith issues at all.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Encountering God in Catechesis
By Catechists' Personal Testimonies
Remember Your Death I have a pretty realistic looking human skull on my desk, positioned to face my high school students. It’s constantly “looking” at them. I acquired the skull years ago from an old classroom closet and placed it on my desk. Students immediately started to notice the skull and asked, “Mr. Bitting, why do you have a skull on your... Read more
Black Vestments: A Catechesis on the Last Things
By Brian Schnell
On November 2, the Church commemorates the Feast of All Souls. In contrast to the Feast of All Saints the day before, the All Souls liturgy remembers all who have died, not just the saints in heaven. As such, it is a much more somber occasion. After all, many souls will never be saints in heaven: they have elected an eternity separate from the... Read more
Holiness Lived in the Family
By Michaelann Martin
Is holiness even possible these days? Before we were married, my husband Curtis and I each had encountered our Lord through profound conversions and were both very committed to following God’s will in our married life. God invited us to live our faith in the public square through our college campus ministry, The Fellowship of Catholic University... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now