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Rebuilding Youth Ministry
Ten Practical Strategies for Catholic Parishes
Author: Christopher Wesley
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Imprint: Ave Maria Press
On-sale date: March 6, 2015
Christopher Wesley is on the front lines of youth ministry. He’s been in the parish trenches, refocusing an unpopular youth program and making it one where teens feel connected, stay involved, and grow in faith. In Rebuilding Youth Ministry, Wesley offers ten indispensable strategies to help you make your youth programs just as successful.
Wesley coaches fellow Catholic ministry leaders on how to overcome common hurdles of ministering to young people. For Wesley, those hurdles included feelings of complacency, underestimating youth, and entertaining rather than ministering in his own parish. Working through these problems, Wesley built a distinctive program based on small group faith formation and sustained it with the assistance of more than sixty volunteer adult mentors.
Wesley shares ten strategies that helped grow participation in his high school program from nine teens to ninety and the middle school program from forty teens to eighty-five, including:
- making your youth program about more than pizza;
- pursuing authentic relationships between small groups and mentors;
- shaping a dynamic youth ministry team; and
- creating a space that’s welcoming to teens.
"Refreshing clarity in the midst of youth ministry craziness."
"When the local Church sets priorities, youth ministry nearly always rises to the top. But the solution we seem to land on generally results in a whirlwind of activities with no clear direction, offered in a dingy room, put on by someone who is too often burned out within a year and looking for ‘a real job.’ Youth ministry done this way is rarely taken seriously because, let's face it, it's rarely successful. Christopher Wesley offers refreshing clarity in the midst of this craziness. In a word, he offers great vision for a ministry the Church so often gets wrong, but really can't afford to."
Founder and president of Real Life Catholic
"This book is a gift!"
“What I love about Chris Wesley is that this book isn’t simply theory—he knows what he’s doing and he has shared his simple and practical tools to help us build a dynamic and more effective youth ministry for our churches. This book is a gift!”
Author of Purpose Driven Youth Ministry
"A must-read for anyone involved in youth ministry."
“Chris Wesley has put together an inspiring, affirming, challenging, and encouraging book that is a must-read for anyone involved in youth ministry. Chris’s love for both youth and youth workers oozes from the pages of this great book.”
Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Archdiocese of Vancouver
"This book should be in the hands of every person working with youth, whether a rookie or veteran!"
“Christopher Wesley provides clarity and insight into the exciting and tumultuous life and work of a person called to youth ministry. With humor and honesty, he helps shed light on the countless challenges we face and how best to form the vision each ministry program needs to be truly successful. This book should be in the hands of every person working with youth, whether a rookie or veteran!”
Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish
Lake Charles, Louisiana
"This will be an invaluable resource for those working with youth today.”
"I have always been impressed by the way Christopher Wesley makes Gospel living come alive for young people. Rebuilding Youth Ministry captures what has made his approach so successful. This will be an invaluable resource for those working with youth today."
Most Rev. Denis J. Madden
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore
Rebuilding Youth Ministry in Your Parish