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Dear Youth Minister…

Dear Youth Minister and Catechist,

I have for some time been telling people that we are asking the wrong questions and therefore getting the wrong responses. I don’t believe this is unique to youth ministry but that’s what I care about!

I want to start with a question…

What if you sent a thank you card to every Confirmation candidate after EVERY Confirmation session?

I wonder if that is possible? Do you have time? Do you know them well enough?

I believe that all good youth ministry is relational. This conclusion is based not only on 20+ years of youth ministry experience but on the Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit. Throughout Christus Vivit, Pope Francis encourages us to walk alongside young people as fellow disciples.

Getting on the road with young people is not easy – but it is possible. The other side of the coin is not being on their road, in which case don’t waste your time with youth meetings, groups or Confirmation sessions because they do not work without relationship!

The reason I am interested in the answer to the question I posed at the start of this letter is prompted by scripture:

They came bringing Him (Jesus) a paralytic man carried by four men. And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof … and lowered him down to Jesus. Mark 2:3-4

THEY LOWERED HIM THROUGH THE ROOF!!!

So my question is, how far are you prepared to go to offer young people an encounter with Jesus Christ? 

If you turn up every week to open the hall, run the session you have lovingly prepared, filled out the admin forms, gone without a substantial evening meal – this is all very commendable. However, if you have no contact with the young people outside of that one and a half hour session, is it enough?

So, my question remains…

What if you sent a thank you card to every Confirmation candidate after EVERY Confirmation session?

Or

What if you sent a thank you card to every young person in your parish after EVERY Mass you noticed them at?

Let us remove the roof not just because the young people are worth it, but because God is calling us to.

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