One of the things that I feel is lacking most in Catholic Youth Ministry is networking. Everyone seems to be struggling, some people try new things every once in awhile, but there is little team effort. Now there are some great things happening now where people are working together to cast a new vision in [...]Full story
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I am not extremely active on Twitter (you can find me here), but I do enjoy checking in on Twitter every now and then. I will start by adding my own favorite’s and then looking towards those of you who may be more actively involved to add them in the comments section below. First off [...]Full story
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Welcome to my library of Facebook Fan Pages for Catholic Youth Ministers to Like. I love “liking” fan pages as a way to stay up-to-date on what people are doing. Each year I plan to revisit this list and add more. If you notice I am missing someone, please add them in the comments section [...]Full story
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After a year, I accumulated several new channels that I enjoy so I thought it would be good to start sharing an updated list each year. So whether you are a new Catholic Youth Minster or just wanted to check in and see if you are missing anyone, I hope this is helpful. You can [...]Full story
One of the things that I feel is lacking most in Catholic Youth Ministry is networking. Everyone seems to be struggling, some people try new things every once in awhile, but there is little team effort.
Now there are some great things happening now where people are working together to cast a new vision in Catholic Youth Ministry (check out rebuildmychurch.org for example), but we can always use more.
We have two fairly new ways that you can connect with discuss Catholic Youth Ministry with others. If you use Facebook or Google+ we have some great news for you. We have a Catholic Youth Ministry Discussion Facebook Group and a Google+ Catholic Youth Ministry Community.
The best benefits of these two groups.
- They are moderated (no spam or junk)
- They are a niche community (Catholic not simply Christian)
- They are on fire! (both groups are new and growing very fast!
Check them out here!
I am not extremely active on Twitter (you can find me here), but I do enjoy checking in on Twitter every now and then. I will start by adding my own favorite’s and then looking towards those of you who may be more actively involved to add them in the comments section below.
First off I must start by mentioning the accounts that I run
My Top 10 in 2012 List.
- Pope Benedict XVI Follow @Pontifex
- Jack Regan Follow @RCYouthWorker
- Michael Marchand Follow @MichaelMarchand
- Busted Halo Follow @BustedHalo
- Mark Hart Follow @LT_TheBiblegeek
- D. Scott Miller Follow @CatholicYMBlog
- John Rinaldo Follow @JohnRinaldo
- Chris Stefanick Follow @ChrisStefanick
- Jason Evert Follow @jasonevert
- Chris Padgett Follow @chrismpadgett
Did we forget you or someone else you think should’ve been mentioned? Please include them in the comments section below!Readmore
Welcome to my library of Facebook Fan Pages for Catholic Youth Ministers to Like. I love “liking” fan pages as a way to stay up-to-date on what people are doing. Each year I plan to revisit this list and add more. If you notice I am missing someone, please add them in the comments section below so that others can see it and I can check it out!
You can also find our YouTube list & Twitter list (coming soon!) as well.
Also, I only go through these once a year, because if I “like” a page and find out they are incredibly annoying or useless, then I would rather not recommend them.
Note: Some of these are not specifically Catholic Youth Ministry or even Catholic (or even youth ministry). They are all pages that I have enjoyed and think those in Catholic Youth Ministry might as well.
First off, I am a little bias of these:
- Catholic Youth Ministry Hub
- Youth Ministry Videos
- Discussing Stuff
My 2012 List
- Bob Rice
- Mike Patin
- Christian Association of Youth Mentoring
- Newman Connection
- Opening The Word (Augustine Institute)
- Sean Forrest
- New Apologetics
- Canadian Youth Worker
- Smarter Youth Ministry
- Likeable Art
- Father Robert Barron
- Adore Ministries
- Catholic Link
- Imagine Sisters
- Cultivation Ministries
- Brandon Vogt
- Chris Padgett
My 2011 List
- Mark Hart (The Bible Geek)
- Simply Youth Ministry
- Skit Guys
- Average Youth Ministry
- Youth Leader Stash
- One Time Blind
- Only 144
- Catholic Tech Talk
- Youth Ministry Ideas
- Leah Darrow
Again, please add your own favorites in the comments section below!Readmore
After a year, I accumulated several new channels that I enjoy so I thought it would be good to start sharing an updated list each year. So whether you are a new Catholic Youth Minster or just wanted to check in and see if you are missing anyone, I hope this is helpful.
You can also find our lists for Facebook & Twitter as well (Coming Soon!)
Note: Some of these are not specifically Catholic Youth Ministry or even Catholic (or even youth ministry). They are all sites that I have enjoyed and think you might as well.
If we are missing one that you enjoy, please add it in the comments section below for others to see and for us to check out as well!
- Brandon Vogt
- Chris Stefanick
- Center for Ministry Development
- Cory Heimann (Likeable Art)
- Jackie Francois
- Tony Vasinda
- ArchDiocese of Washington
- Epipheo Studios
- Youth Cartel Adam
- Young Catholic Ministries
- Augustine Institute
- Catholic Answers
- For Your Vocation
- Fr. Frank Pavone
- Group Magazine
- Julian Smith
- Live Action Films
- Outside Da Box
- Rhett & Link & Rhett & Link 2
- Skit Guys
- Word on Fire
- Youth Ministry Tips
- Youth Specialties
- Simply Youth Ministry
Xt3 has been promoting their new advent calendar through the web lately (you can find it here). This is not the only Catholic online advent calendar out though. It seems like last year when the Busted Halo advent calendar came out, they started popping up everywhere! I thought it would be good to compile a list of online Catholic Advent calendars and post them here! That way you can find your favorite and promote it with your youth group (or just send them a link to this post and have them pick one themselves!).
Here you go! In no special order, but labeled by who is putting it out.
Know of any others? Please let us know in the comments section below!
One of the most popular resources that is being spread throughout social media has been the “Read the Catechism in Year” email sign-up through Flocknote. I have seen Flocknote online for awhile and have been very interested in their ministry and how it can best be utilized in youth ministry. So I decided to check in with Matthew Warner the Founder of Flocknote. Here is what I asked and learned:
1. In one sentence, what is flocknote?
Flocknote is simple email newsletters and text messaging for churches, ministries, teams and organizations.
2. Your website lays out the features of Flocknote very well. But the biggest question I have, is what does Flocknote do that puts it apart from anything else? In other words, what are the one or two features that I should really play with during the 30 day free trial?
Text-to-register makes it fairly unique. Your members can subscribe to your various lists by simply texting in a keyword from their cell phone. They can text in their email address, too, which kicks off a full registration process for them, allowing them to subscribe to whatever ministries/services/lists you offer. Flocknote is also big on interaction. So any person on one of your Lists can click over from any email they get from you and immediately reply/comment and jump into the conversation or provide you with useful feedback all in one easy place. They can also vote in polls and RSVP to events you send out. Overall, Flocknote stands out because it’s simple and made for simple communication. People are bombarded with noisy communication all day long. The way to cut through the clutter is to get to your point, be concise and reach them where they’ll read it. Flocknote helps solve all of that.
3. From people that are using Flocknote, in what ways are they seeing the greatest engagement or response from their parishes?
It really just depends on how they are using it. DREs are getting hundreds of catechists and students organized and informed. Youth and young adults (and old adults!) are getting quick text updates that remind them about upcoming events. Pastors are able to easily manage and oversee all communication for their parish. Every ministry leader is being empowered to communicate effectively and simply. All parishioners are getting one, consistent system and place to connect with any information they want from their parish and all the ministries and services it offers. One of the main things is that we see parish leaders *actually doing* something to communicate better. They often have complex software solutions at their disposal, but they don’t use them because they aren’t simple enough to be practical. With Flocknote we see that change and all of a sudden people who never liked bothering with new communication methods at all are big Flocknote fans and power users.
4. What would you say Flocknote looks like in 5-10 years and how will our parishes need to adjust to better reach the parishioners?
That’s a good question but I have literally no idea what it will look like in 5-10 years. Things change so fast. At Flocknote, we just try to make ourselves agile enough to adapt as necessary. And we really focus on building relationships between parishioners and parish leaders…those are the things that last despite the technology involved. As far as what parishes need to do, there is a lot. But fundamentally, I think they have to have a shift from maintenance mode to mission mode. They have to rekindle the spirit of looking outward and building relationships, taking people somewhere that is inspiring and fulfilling. Technology can’t fix that, but it can help you do it more powerfully
5. Can you tell us briefly about the Catechism in a year sign-up you have made available through your web site?
Yep! Pope Benedict encouraged us all to read the Catechism for the Year of Faith. We wanted to help. So we partnered up with CatholicCrossReference.com and made a simple email list that sends you a short snippet of the Catechism each morning for the Year of Faith. Read that and you’ll read the whole Catechism this year. It’s totally free and we have about 90,000 other people from all over the world participating. Just go here to jump in with us: flocknote.com/catechism
6. How can people get a hold of you and learn more about Flocknote?
Just check out Flocknote.com! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and our Happiness Engineer will be happy to help! We have a lot of youth ministers who have adopted it for their own youth ministry…and then the rest of the parish decided to adopt it, too, after that! Youth ministers are building the most important relationships for the future of the Church. Their role in the parish is absolutely vital and, in many ways, ends up leading the way for the rest of the parish.Readmore
Since the next re:Build Conference is just around the corner, we took a little time to catch up their leadership about the conferences. We spoke with Tony Vasinda the Curator for the events and, along with Scott Miller and others, part of the leadership team.
For those who have not been able to participate in one of the conferences what is re:Build 3.0?
re:Build 3.0 is the 3rd installment in a new type of youth ministry conference. As the main feature of the site rebuildmychurch.org the re:Build Conferences are online, participatory, and free. Our team works to bring put together a set of 6-7 speakers from across the globe and to invite youth ministers into a conversation about how we rework, rethink, and rebuild the way we are doing youth ministry.
re:Build 3.o is coming up on November 6th. Can you give us an idea about what to expect?
We really hit our stride at the last event. The level of dialogue was high, the speakers were great, and we had some great ideas that came out of it. So this time around we are looking for more of the same. We have Mark Hart speaking about The Bible and Generation I, Morgan Schmidt talking about a Ministry of Desire, and many more great speakers.
What do you look for when picking speakers?
Passion. Rebuilding the Church is not about doing the same old thing, and it requires people who are passionate about visioning a new future in for our Church and our field. We also look for cultural, geographic, and concept diversity in our lineup. We also try to draw from both well know known speakers and those you may not have heard of.
What are some of the plans you have to grow the re:Build Conferences?
For the conferences we are really just streamlining and improving. Later on this week we are upgrading the website. This has lead to bringing in a new team member, Michael Marchand. We are also trying to get our speakers on board farther out. In December we are launching a monthly online panel discussion where we deconstruct a given topic and look at ways we can put it back together. We view this as a natural evolution of our mission.
How can our followers connect with and stay involved in what re:Build is doing?
Following us on Facebook or Twitter are great ways to stay up to date are great ways to stay up on future developments. However there are three main ways that we are looking to get people engaged.
- Join us for the next event on November 6th.
- Let other youth ministers know about the events.
- Become a speaker or panelist. We need people to step up and share their voices.
I stumbled upon an excellent resource today as I have been looking for things to help youth and young adults dive more deeply into the YouCat. It will be well worth your time to check out this resource from Newman Connection. It is by far, one of the best online resources I have found to study not only the YouCat, but if you want a place for young adults to learn more about their faith, this site has exceeded any expectations of what I was hoping to find.
The Exploring YouCat course has great bite-size lessons for youth to go through in order to study the YouCat. Each lesson requires reading a small section of the YouCat, watching a couple of short videos (usually around 10 minutes in length), and then taking a quiz on that lesson.
The videos are professional quality and the content is great. They are meaty so it is definitely targeting at those youth who are desiring to study and learn more.
The quizzes provide excellent opportunity to evaluate your learning.
Newman Challenge Points
The site requires you to have an account (which can be done through social networking profiles very easily), and they not only help you keep track of your progress overtime by green icons, but they give you points that accumulate and help you to see how you stack up with others going through the course.
Lastly, there is an area for each lesson to discuss questions with others and to enjoy a wider learning community.
The Newman Connection has set a new standard with this course and as I look around their site, I can help but find more and more great things. All those who work in youth ministry should definitely check this out and share it with any youth, young adults, or even Catechists, that are interested in learning more about their faith and studying the YouCat more intensely.
Where Do We Find It?
I have been emailing back and forth with Laura Bradley from Xt3. She is very excited about what Xt3 has to offer those involved in Catholic Youth Ministry. I had asked them to introduce a little bit of what Xt3 is for the Catholic Youth Ministry Hub followers and they recorded a brief audio clip to explain it on their website. You can find the clip here.
In a nutshell, Xt3 was born out of World Youth Day in 2008 and is a place where Catholics from all over the world can collaborate and share. There is a wealth of content and ways to get involved in sharing and learning more about the universal Church. Be sure to check them out get involved!
While you are learning about Xt3, be sure to check out their video for WYD 2013 below!
What do you do think about this social network? Please discuss below!
On April 18th, the USCCB released a new document titled “Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization.” The preface of the document states that
The Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis seeks to take up the call of the New Evangelization with this online resource. Diocesan bishops, eparchs, pastors, diocesan and parish staff, and indeed all Catholics will find this resource helpful in the creation of outreach efforts aimed at inviting and welcoming Catholics back to the Lord’s Table.
And that is exactly what they do. The call of the New Evangelization seeks to provide a stronger thrust in our efforts to Evangelization. Most specifically it aims towards the evangelization of those that once were once faithful Catholics but have fallen away. I absolutely love this document because it is written in a way that any leader in the Church can get a good introduction to the New Evangelization, what the Church is seeking to do through it, and why. Most importantly, the USCCB lays out incredible practical tips on how we can do this. I encourage all those who work in youth ministry at any level (yes, even volunteers) to read through this and join the Church in this incredible call.
It’s free so get to it!
Have any great ideas that your parish or Diocese has begun using to “take up the call of the New Evangelization?” Please comment below!Readmore
I have recently been reviewing curriculum for our Diocese in order that I can put out a new recommendation list for the parishes in our Diocese. As a student at the Augustine Institute in Denver I am made aware of the many great things that are happening through the Institute and those involved in it. Not too long ago, the Augustine Institute began promoting their new youth ministry based curriculum call YDisciple. I have had a chance to review two of the current bundles that have been published (they have three out right now) and am excited to write our first review on it.
What Is It?
The YDisicple materials are very unique when compared to the other materials that are out there. When you purchase a YDisciple bundle, you receive a youth leader guide, a student journal, and a set of DVD’s. The bundle includes materials to lead four bible study sessions. Each bundle has a theme that is covered for those four lessons. The curriculum has been formed around the Discipleship model which is introduced in the first bundle. In the two bundles that I received there is one DVD for each lesson and an extra DVD for the leader’s to be used as a training tool for themselves. Each study is designed to show a DVD (possibly in large group) and then break into smaller Discipleship groups to reflect and lead the youth through the biblical message of each study.
How Is It Different?
YDisciple is very different for a couple of reasons. First off, I have never seen a program written in way that is so clear on where you are beginning and where you want to go. The bundles are being developed systematically to help lead the youth through and into the Discipleship process. YDisciple is not something that you can just plug into your classroom curriculum that you are already using. It is a program that changes the way your parish does ministry using extremely sound and proven methods that are common to most youth workers, but not always clearly articulated as they are in YDisciple.
Secondly, the absolute top reason I love YDisciple is because of the quality of training that it provides for the leaders. Jim Beckman is one of the top names in Catholic Youth Ministry right now. With each bundle, you get a disc of training that comes from the Youth Ministry Guru professor that teaches many of the Youth Ministry courses through the graduate program at AI. It is excellent content that is taught at a level that any volunteer can grasp. You can also gain access to tons of great courses and content for leaders through their website for a small annual fee.
I place a great deal of respect on where a product originates from. If you do not know about AI and who is involved in it, you should learn. When you can approach your pastor with names like Jim Beckman, Tim Gray, and the Augustine Institute, it will not take long to convince them that it is worth the investment.
After speaking with Jim on the phone a little about this curriculum, I became very excited. They have a great vision for the program and have tons more materials and products coming our way!
How About A Promo Video?
Sure! Click on the image at the top of the post to watch their promo video!
Just a quick note that Facebook & the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have partnered up and Facebook will be offering an option for people to report someone who may be contemplating suicide. The report will send an email to the user with a plea to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by phone or they can click a link to start an anonymous chat.
Would like to hear your thoughts.
Here’s the article straight from Facebook.Readmore
Discussion Questions or Thoughts For Use After Video
- Who are the youth that you consider as part of your group or that have been put in your care?
- Who is it in your group that you feel called to invest in and duplicate yourself in?
- In what ways do you feel you could invest more heavily in a few of your youth?
- Have you ever used this mentality before? Does it make sense?
Complete Notes For Video
This is Eric Gallagher from the Catholic Youth Ministry Hub. In this quick training I will give a method of stewardship that I have found useful in regard to the time spent with youth inside and outside of your regular education or youth ministry programs. This method can be used for those who commit a couple hours a week or those who work full-time. It is a method that is used by Christ in the New Testament and a method that has proven to be effective by youth ministry programs still today.
Let’s face it, even if you are a full-time paid youth worker, your time is very limited. Whether that limitation be in the time that you are actually able to minister to the youth or even the number of years that you have with the youth in your programs. Our time is a gift from God that must be used with good stewardship. Just as we budget, spend, and invest our money, we are called to layout a plan for our time in a way that pleases our Lord and makes good use of the gift that He has given us.
For this example we are going to take a look at a typical small group setting. Ideally, your adult to student ratio should be no more than 1:7 or 1:8. We will use seven as the example. In my ministry I like to strive for 1:6 and if I have eight in a small group, I would prefer to have a co-leader available in the group as well. It is the responsibility of the youth coordinator of the parish to set up this atmosphere to make it most beneficial to the adults and the youth involved. This does not necessarily mean that you regularly meet in small groups, just that your youth group or religious education program should be broken up in this way for accountability and responsibility purposes for the youth and adults. By assigning 6-8 youth for each adult, that allows the adult to narrow their focus and responsibility and it will ensure each youth in take care of.
As mentioned earlier, the model I am suggesting is much like the model that Christ used. It includes three levels of investment. The first level is that you must make yourself available to all in your small group. This means when you are in youth group or they catch you after Mass, you are available to them when they wish to talk, have questions, or simply need help. Every youth deserves this and needs this. You can see this example in Scripture very clearly as Christ is always available and guides those who are seeking Him. This intentional availability also is a great witness of the Eucharist and the Church being available always to us anytime we need it.
The second level is a deeper level of involvement in a few of the youth in your group. These three are youth that you feel God is calling you to work more regularly with or that may need a little more from you, either because they are struggling or they are desiring to grow. The goal is that you would reach out to these youth. This example is given to us in Christ as He clearly invests His energies into Peter, James, & John. He is not showing favoritism over the other apostles, but he knows that they need more from Him for whatever reason.
The last level of your time investment is that you must duplicate yourself in one person in your group. This could be your co-leader that may also be an older youth or it may be a youth that you know will bring the greatest return on your investment of time that you give them. This could be the youth that steps in and leads if you have to be gone. It is probably the youth that the others in the group will follow and trust. You are setting the foundation for when you are gone. You are training future disciples. Just as Christ duplicated Himself in Peter, you are called to train and empower the youth within your group.
All three of these levels are flexible and moveable. You may find that one person you have been investing in either is doing great on their own and has the support they need or the youth is struggling so much that they continue to throw your investment of time in the garbage. You do not completely pull out, your time just needs to move into a different area until that youth is ready for more.
Just to recap, the three levels are that you should be available to all, invest in few, and duplicate yourself in one. Make it intentional and have a plan in place.
CREDITS: CC Money Image courtesy of AMagill on FlickrReadmore