Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

ATM-Steubenville Youth Conferences

I'm in the middle of the Annual Team Meeting for the Steubenville Youth Conferences-the hosts and a few speakers and all of the organizers from all of the sites. We review the past year and take a look at many things-like did the schedule work, how can we improve the program, what worked, are we staying or straying the mission of the Youth Conferences.

One of the things that we are looking at is the role of the Young Apostle program. To be honest, from my vantage point, I didn't see their use to the conferences. We all recognize that it's become a chance for kids to be on stage rather than being servants. The conversation about it took over 2 hours. My preference would be to really make it a formative program which automatically includes leadership training, because we are all called by our baptism to be leaders and to serve.

Some sites seem to rely a great deal on their Young Apostles to work for them. I'd like to see sites offer kids the opportunity to serve, and not be dependent on them. On campus I could see placing them under our student leads so that they are actually doing something to serve the Conferences, but are also surrounded by great college kids who pour their hearts into their work.

But we'll see what develops...

All in all it's been excellent to be with the other organizers to support one another. There are some extraordinary people out in the trenches doing the Youth Conferences and the only way that we were able to reach 37,000 kids at 18 sites is because of their hard work and dedication.

Pray for us as we continue to work on making the Summer Youth Conferences everything that God wants it to be. Pray that we hear and follow his leadership and guidance!



Anonymous Cathleen Smith said...

My daughter and other youth from our parish went to Steubenville in the Rockies and absolutely loved it. They plan to go back next year. They had fun at the amusement park, but their favorite part was the great speakers and inspirational stories, especially the girl who was in the hospital, the youth prayed for her, and she came to the conference the next day. They will never forget this conference!

11:18 PM  
Blogger brandie said...

I have also taken a group of teens and plan to attend the first Steubenville Northwest. It seems to be a hard sell in our diocese. Do you have any information on what goes into these conferences? We have tried to explain the nature of the conferences to diocesan officals to get more support. What information is available?

12:32 AM  

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