How does your parish get young adults involved in....?

I was wondering how your parish gets young adults involved in your parish’s activities? - eg: bible study group, praise and worship, etc?..

Thanks!

Me Too!

As a youth director, I have found just talking to them makes a big difference. Listen to what they have to say, and make connections to there problems with different ministries the church offers.

Most you will find are looking for involvement because they are bored. A youth ministry where they can meet other youths and participate in activities together is a great way of getting them started.

The two easiest ways of meeting young adults is at mass or at confirmation. Once you have a good core group have them start reaching out to other youths.

God’s humble servant
John A.H.

we have gatherings 4 times a year inviting anyone who considers themselves young adults, including those who respond to time and talent surveys. We also invite new parishioners to these events. There representatives from various ministries and apostolates make some type of presentation describing their programs, asking for volunteers etc. Problems: getting those parish representatives to participate, or getting them to make attractive presentations and invitations to new people. Some of them are very closed to newcomers because that is our parish culture–ownership of ministries by some entrenched people.

Problems: the cattle call bulletin announcement style of invitation seldom produces good results, either does the “announcement” after Mass. Personal one on one verbal invitations are the best, but everyone seems to expect someone else to make those contacts. If a new parishioner, and I include college age or 20 somethings or newlyweds who are establishing their own households, waited for a personal greeting from a member of this parish before becoming “involved” he could die waiting.

The secret to changing this culture is beyond my experience and competence. If anybody has it, please bottle it and sell it.

Find a program that’s working in a nearby parish and copy it.

Find a good youth director and use his/her talents. There are many resources available. Youth want scripture taught to them in the way they see their world at that age. It’s a gift - but rare to find.

Start with the altar server groups and expand by word of mouth. Reward a member who brings one other member to a fun meeting.

My son’s youth group meets once a week during the school year. Takes many retreat weekends and trips. Is active as lectors, cantors, altar servers, and ushers at assigned masses. Older high school kids are peer ministry leaders and assigned certain duties for the weekly meetings.

The key is a dedicated and talented youth ministry director (and the parish should pay them - they are worth it) and a core group of dedicated high school youth to help and a few parents who want it to happen. Good luck and God Bless.

Thank you all for your replies.

At my parish, we have many many youths but we hardly see those at the age range: 21 - 30’s. Currently, there are a Bible study for this group and a young adult group of Legion of Mary.

My parish is huge, but I see more older people than those from 21-30’s.

My personal opinion is my generation is poorly catechized. There seems to be very few of us around at mass and in the ministries just as you have observed. It is very difficult to reach out to people of that generation who don’t come to mass. A effort has to be made to find them on there ground and introduce them to something they may of lost or never have had. The love for thy neighbor and God; how caring for one another is so much fulfilling then selfishness.

They are trying to live in a world where selfishness rules the soul. Where everything is buy for thy self and not for thy neighbor. They have been taught that material things will bring them happiness but they find no satisfaction from it. They long to belong to something real and life fulfilling.

Why do you think our protestant neighbors are so successful in bringing people to there church? They reach out on the street, with mailers, and other means of mass communication.

An example;
We just started a website for the youth group. We are hoping they can go there to get updates, information, and help.
It is not exactly a reaching out website but an FYI type website. It simplifies the information in a place where the youth are much more likely to read it. www.cristojoven.net

Little things like;
Instead of greeting with "good day"
Say “Good day and god bless”

Big thing like;
Young adult outreach fair or group.

God Humble Servant
John A. H.

P.S. sorry if it is a little disjointed, I had to write it between serveral meetings.

At my parish, we have many many youths but we hardly see those at the age range: 21 - 30’s.

That seems to be a pretty common problem across the board. People tend to leave church when they are in college and not come back until they have kids who they feel should be raised in church. I go to a Methodist church right now with a little under 1000 there on any given Sunday, and I can count on my hands the number of people in that 21-30 range. I’ve also talked with my Jewish boss about it before and the same thing seems to be happening in synagogues.

Yeah. I remember when I was in college; I spent most of the time studying and working…and little tiny time for church. :o

My parish is going to have a new ministry to help encourage people to participate in activities that they are good at. We had our first meeting on Monday this week.

In the future, we will also have another program - watching Catholic movies - together …about once a week. I am sure many people do not know that there are many great Catholic movies to watch - I used to be one of them until my girlfriend rented many of them and her Baptismal sponsor bought more movies.

Watching movies about different saints can be very helpful to us.

We have a teen ministry but no young adult ministry…However, some of our young adults who are active in the St. Vincent dePaul Society as well as young ushers, connect during the summer with our diocese’ wide Theology on Tap program.
yamchicago.org/yam-TOT06-HostSitesArchChicago.html

plus here are some books on ministry to young adults.
yamchicago.org/res-books-yamMinisters.html

Thanks for the info, stbruno. I will check it out soon.

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