Do you wonder why your parish doesn't have young adult ministry?
Simply and primarily because young adult ministry is peer ministry, by adults and for adults. What can you do to start young adult ministry in your parish? Young adult ministry is not like youth ministry or campus ministry where there is a primary leader to set program opportunities. It's up to you! For more information on what to do in your parish please contact us @ 716.847.8789 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are the steps to start developing young adult ministry in your parish!
Step 1: Identify Core Team Leaders
Gather a small group of persons committed to the success of young adult ministry.
- Look for past leadership ability.
- Recommendations from parish staff
- Youth ministry/CYO officers/Lifeteen Core Team Members
- High School leadership positions
- Involvement in RCIA
- Young Adults on the parish council
- Involvement in liturgical ministries
- Involvement in the Faith Formation program
- College students who are commuters
- Young professionals
- Just out of College
Involve a member of the parish staff on your leadership team.
Step 2: Develop a Ministry Profile
The core team develops a profile of who they want to participate. Will you target college age, or singles, or professionals, or all women, or all men? The core team answers the questions: Who do we want to be the foundation of this young adult ministry? How can we continually invite new people in?
Step 3: Find Young Adults Who Fit Your Profile
Having agreed upon the profile of the young adult ministry, the leaders then begin to develop a list of young adults fitting that profile they know and can invite to a brainstorming session. An effective way to recruit people is by personally inviting them. The majority of people invited to the meeting should be people that the leaders know. This will help insure a strong base for your ministry.
Create your list from: people known personally by the leaders; parish data systems, past school & faith formation rosters
Names & addresses obtained through parish bulletins, newsletters, local newspapers, and places where young adults frequent.
Step 4: Provide a Brainstorming Session
Extend personal invitations. Call participants and follow up with written (email, Facebook, text) invitations. Provide gracious hospitality at the session. Brainstorm activities in four areas: Social; Serious (educational/catechetical); Spiritual; and Service
Think of ways to do ordinary activities differently. For example, do a social after Mass like a Sundae Social with lots of ice cream. Leaders keep track of interest levels and anyone who offers help in any way. Have volunteer sign up sheets available, and follow up after the session with thank you emails or texts.
Step 5 Plan your future
Based on the discussions of the brainstorming session, the leaders develop a plan for future parish activities and set-up leadership positions from among those in attendance at the session.
The Next Step
The following resources are available in the Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for your use (795 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203; at 716-847-8789) or contact Laurie Marshanke at email@example.com
Sons and Daughters of the Light
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults
The Basic Guide to Young Adult Ministry
John C. Cusick & Katherine F. DeVries(Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2001)
Connecting Young Adults to Catholic Parishes: Best Practices in Young Adult Ministry
Committee for Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
(Washington: USCCB, 2010)
Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20s and 30s
(Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2007)
A Practical Guide for Young Adults: Leadership for Life
Michael Poulin, Lori Spanbauer, Joan Weber & Jennifer Willems
(Naugatuck, CT: Center for Ministry Development, 1997)
Seeds of Hope: Young Adults and the Catholic Church in the United States
(Mahwah, NJ, Paulist Press, 2008)
Young Adult Ministry in the 21st Century
(Loveland, CO, Group Publishing, 2006)
Young Adult Works
A 5 volume publication
The Center for Ministry Development