Good for you for wanting to engage the youth of your parish!
I have been the volunteer youth minister at my parish for about 14 years. The program has evolved a great deal over that time as I experimented with what worked and what didn’t. There are LOTS of resources available…so many that it can get a little overwhelming. Check these…
Our youth group meets every Sunday from 7-8:30. Here is my basic outline for most meetings…
7-7:10 Students sign-in/play basketball (we meet in a gym) or do some other mixer while we wait for everyone to arrive.
7:10-7:25 Guest speaker (I invite different guests from the parish to give their ‘testimonies’–why they are Catholic, how they have been challenged in their faith, how God is working in their lives. Some stories are extraordinary and some are every day. The purpose is to make teens aware that God is also working in THEIR lives…actively.)
7:25-8:00 Lesson supported by activities such as group discussion or written exercises
8:00-8:10 Audio/Visual segment (learn a song or watch one of the many great video clips available for Catholic Teens–search outside da box on youtube.)
8:10-8:15 Closing Prayer/Announcements
This year we will be using T3 Teen Bible Timeline. It is a ‘packaged’ DVD driven program. There are student workbooks available to help guide the teens through the material. I will not be using the workbooks because I have seen so many end up in the trash and they are rather expensive.
I have also used Theology of the Body for Teens, which is another DVD driven program.
Teens are interested in basic apologetics. They ARE challenged at school, but don’t always know where the questions are coming from. I’ve done a basic apologetics course several different times and it was always well received.
Another thing I try to do is show the teens how their faith relates to current events. The possibilities are endless as there is so much out there to be explored and discussed.
Hope this helps a little…