Youth & Young Adult Catechesis: Launching Young Disciples

Authored by Jim Beckman in Issue #35.2 of The Sower

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[1]), 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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