As a veteran youth minister in the Catholic Church, I have found myself at various times struggling with the seeming ineffectiveness of my ministry. Over the years, there have been numerous “shifts” that I have experienced in parish-based ministry that have made the task of reaching teens more and more difficult: increased parental control and influence, increased moral relativism among young people (recent studies show that 91% of teens surveyed do not believe there is an absolute truth), increased confusion over basic questions about faith, the chaotic and busy lifestyles of teens and their families, etc. These challenges have led to frustration and even the disillusioned feeling that I wasn’t accomplishing anything. I definitely was not achieving the primary goal: making disciples of the teens I was ministering to. I began much research and study in search of a new approach—one that is rooted in a discipleship mentality.
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