|This Article is from the Fall 2005 edition of good idea!, also available here in a fully formatted PDF file.|
Youth ministry is seeing a renewed emphasis in Canada after having fallen off for several generations. The vast majority of young people are no longer involved in parish life after early adolescent years, and where they are present they often say that they feel like aliens in the church. This disconnect needs to be overcome, but many people say they don’t know how.
George’s training and involvement in youth ministry in various contexts over many years has put him in a place where he also works with youth leaders to equip them for reconnection ministries. He leads explorations in engaging postmodern youth cultures, exploring adolescent development and spiritual formation, relationship-building and equipping adolescents for ministry.
Realising that congregations come in a variety of liturgical traditions, cultural/ demographic contexts, and different places with respect to youth ministry, he is flexible in his content and style.
George believes that every parish is called to some form of youth ministry. His goals are: (1) to help congregations explore their unique vocation in regard to youth, and (2) to see young people become fully functional disciples of Jesus engaged in ministry both inside and outside their home congregations.
He offers a one-day seminar entitled Growing YAMs (Younger Adolescent Ministries), aimed at helping congregations learn to minister effectively to youth in middle and junior high school.
George also offers a range of seminars for both paid and volunteer youth workers on such topics as: Starting an Effective Youth Ministry; Adolescent Spiritual Formation; Running Short-term Missions with Youth; and How to Plan and Run a Youth Conference.
Other youth-related topics can be negotiated with George to suit the particular needs of your ministry.