Help with starting a young adult ministry

Hi, everyone. I am new to these forums. I came upon this website while doing research for a young adult group I am trying to start at my local parish.

There are three things we wish to accomplish:

  1. Learn, discuss, and UNDERSTAND our faith (study catechism, sacred scripture and how it relates to Catholicism, writings of saints, priests, and popes, and especially apologetics)

  2. Help with charitable organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul, and help with activities and ministry within our own parish (through helping with things like Life Teen, Edge, or whatever the parish needs help with).

  3. Social stuff (this shouldn’t be too difficult, things like hikes, movies, basketball, ect.).

The second two won’t be too difficult. The first one is where I am having issues. I am not an expert on Catholicism or catechism. I really don’t know much at all. In fact, I went to the parish office asking about a young adult group specifically for my parish, and that led to me trying to make one! I am starting this with the full support of the RE director and the priests, but they aren’t really sure of how to organize this, either.

What I am looking for is a starting point. I have no clue where to begin. Here are some recommendations I’ve received:

  1. Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly

  2. Adventure Bible Series by Jeff Cavins

  3. Catholic Catechism Explained by ?

  4. Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft

  5. Books from what was formerly Familia, such as God’s Call to Holiness and Truth, Faith, and Reason.

I’m looking for a guided way to understand the faith. There are so many different things we could jump to, but I’d rather keep it organized and have a specific starting point. How should I do this? Should we all go over a certain piece of reading material, and then discuss it? I’m really just lost on where to go with this.

Any help would be appreciated, and if there is somewhere else this should be posted, then I apologize.

Hi there!

I’m a member of an adult young ministry and I think your ideas are pretty good. I will tell you how my group works and see if it works for you.

We start with a general prayer of introduction invoking the trinity and the blessed mother. We then sing one or two songs of praise accompanied by a guitar and two people that are part of the group’s ‘chorus’ everyone sings though, sometimes they give out the words of the music but most times we just sing since they are well known songs.

Then one member that is previously chosen leads the group in prayer of praise and adoration to God, this is spontaneous and often other people join in or continue once the original person stops praying, others pray in silence or whisper whatever they are comfortable with. We then sing a song related to forgivenes or God’s mercy and then a prayer for God’s mercy and forgiveness is said by another member as above. Then comes a song about the Holy Spirit and another member leads us in prayer to the Holy Spirit. We then take a minute of silence and end it with a Glory be.

This takes about half an hour, we then proceed with the theme of the day, now we are doing a series of apologetic topics but in the past we have done life of the saints, different church doctrines, the rosary , etc. All topics are presented by different members of the group. We are given different topics to cover and we have around a month to do the research and give the presentation. During the presentations people can ask questions, the leaders do different dynamic activities such as games, short sketches, etc. The more creative the better to ensure proper understanding

After the topic is over, we pray a general concluding prayer and pray for different intentions the group might have, we end it with the sing of peace.

We are fortune to have a good leader who is an older man who was in the seminary but never finished and got married instead. he is very knowledgeable though and is one of the RCIA leaders. He is there to make sure we are teaching correct information.

In the beginning he presented all of the topics for around the first couple of months but he told us we would have to take over soon after. As far as leading prayer we had to do that since the beginning. Some are better than others but like anything else that improves with practice. I still remember the first time I did it I was a wreck and prepared the whole week but now I can do it at moment’s notice lol!

The most important thing is that you get everyone involved early no matter how you structure your group, you cannot do all the work yourself. There’s also a core team of around 5 people that are chosen who are supposed to be the ones in charge of the group and the different activities. We go once a month to feed the homeless and have to do a ton of different tasks for the parish as an approved group such as organize trips, cook, clean, help out in the flea market, usher for big masses etc.

I cannot stress how important making prayer a big part of the group is! The days we go feed the homeless we don’t do the whole prayer and just a short one and you can feel the difference big time! No matter what type of prayer you decide to utilize make that a priority.

Our group has around 30 members but maybe only around 12-15 attend every week and maybe around 8 can always be counted on to help. Don’t worry about that because that happens in any group. As long as you can find a few people to help you consistently you’ll be fine

Good luck and God Bless!

There are loads of free catholic resources available from the internet, I have put them up on one site

You can get free saints books from this site

If you want to buy them in print you can do so from tanbooks

You can teach them theology of the body and chastity

You can find free materials from Jason Evert: Chastity Speaker, and Christopher West, explaining theology of the body here:

You can find free catholic sacred music, teach them gregorian chants from here

You can ask them to watch saints movies with you and you can find saints movies for free here

You can teach them about eucharistic miracles, show them the photos and stories here:

You can teach them how to pray

Ask them to watch mother angelica with you

Don’t forget to pray the rosary for them, to help your ministry.

May the merciful Jesus bless you

The Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska is a good start

Teach them the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Rosary. Teach them to pray it everyday, three times a day

Book recommendations

May the merciful Jesus bless you

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