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SaskCath YMT - Youth Night 101: Getting Started


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This is our first keynote from our first SaskCath YMT workshop - Youth Night 101: How to build a youth night. Warren Dungen, Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Prince Albert leads us from point zero - what are the steps we need to take, and what types of youth nights we really can create.

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SaskCath YMT - Youth Night 101: Getting Started

  1. 1. YM 101 – “HOW TO DEVELOP/ LEAD A YOUTH NIGHT” Session #1 – Getting Started
  2. 2. 11 Steps in Planning Youth Ministry 1. Get Authorization. Know who is “in charge.” 2. Get the right people together. 3. Establish your vision/goals for youth ministry – along with your target group. 4. Identify your resources. 5. Conduct a needs assessment. 6. Generate event and activity ideas based on a model.
  3. 3. 11 Steps in Planning Youth Ministry 7. Match your ideas with the vision/goals, needs and resources. 8. Set a calendar after identifying your frequency of gathering. 9. Assign leaders and responsibilities. 10. Develop an organizational structure and organizational chart. 11. Plan for evaluation.
  4. 4. Get the Right People Together  You cannot carry out programming solely on your own. You will need help or you will not last very long.  Also, you are not the exclusive “font of all knowledge,” so having other ideas and voices to add to discerning the direction of your ministry/programming is essential!
  5. 5. Vision/Goals  This a very important step! You need to know why you are doing what you plan to do – BEFORE – you actually do it!  This can be exciting and/or exhausting. Don’t skip this step because it’s a pain.  However, the formality or informality of this process can differ depending on the structure of your parish.  It might be best to have a neutral unbiased facilitator lead this process if you have a larger parish or formal structure to follow.
  6. 6. Identify Your Resources  You will face tremendous frustration if you do not know how much money you have to work with and what your budget is for the year.  If one does not exist, create one!  Plan for supplies, snacks, etc.  You need to also consider people as resources and the giftedness they can bring to your ministry.  Will you need copyright licenses for music, purchase videos or books?  Plan ahead, but know what you are working with before you start.
  7. 7. Needs Assessment  Again, depending on the level of structure, you may be wise to develop a needs assessment to see what children, youth, parents and parishioners need from your youth programming.  As a leader, you may only be basing your ideas off “perceived needs” rather than “actual needs.”
  8. 8. 1. Who is my Target Group? Elementary Jr High Sr High Mix of the above Families
  9. 9. 2. How often we will gather? Over what period of time? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly? Are we skipping any months? (summer, school holidays or breaks)
  10. 10. 3. What model will I follow? Lectionary-based Theme-based Seasonal Hybrid
  11. 11. a) Lectionary-based  Using the theme of the preceding or upcoming Sunday Gospel  Dovetailing your youth night with the message of the homily
  12. 12. b) Theme-based  Examples of themes are:  Identity and Value – “I am a Son/Daughter of God”  Sexuality and Relationships – “G’day Mate!”  Prayer, Worship and Liturgy – “Prayer is not just for ‘Desperate’ people”  Catechesis – “I feel the need for Creed!”  Family and Community – “All for One! One for All!”  Evangelization – “All right now - GET OUT OF HERE!”  Pastoral Care – “Let no one be forgotten”  Justice and Service – “Go Make a Difference”  Discernment – “Making the RIGHT choice – every time”  Freedom – “Come to Me All You Who are Heavily Burdened – and I Will Give You Rest”
  13. 13. b) Theme-based  Acceptance, Change, Commitment, Drugs, Employment, Fear, Forgiveness, Grief, Happiness, Honesty, Humility, Independence, Integrity, Judging, Laziness, Leadership, Lying, Loneliness, Missions, Media, Movies and Music, Occult, Parents, Passion, Peer Pressure, Politics, Pornography, Pregnancy, Prejudice, Priorities, Popularity, Prolife, Racism, Rejection, Respect, Responsibility, Revenge, Rules, Sin, Stress, Suicide, Talents, Temptation, Tragedy, Traditions, Trust, Unity, Violence, War, Worship
  14. 14. c) Seasonal only  Advent / Christmas  St. Valentine’s Day  St. Patrick’s Day  Lent / Easter  End of the School Year  Back to School  Mothers/Fathers Day  Remembrance Day  Halloween  All Saints/Souls  Superbowl or Grey Cup Sunday  Graduation  April Fools  Thanksgiving
  15. 15. 4. Type of Night Social Educational Hot Issue Service Retreat or Liturgical
  16. 16. Closing  Whatever you select, you need to layout your plan clearly on a CALENDAR and plan out your themes in advance.  This will be your plan for the year, allow you to communicate clearly where you are in your programming and where you are going.  You may find it easier to recruit (convince) others to help you out for specific nights over others, because they have a passion or interest on that theme/topic. You cannot do it alone!
  17. 17. Closing  Also do you best to communicate with PARENTS and keep them informed with what you are doing, how they can help, what they can bring, etc.  Parents should continue be seen as partners to the ministry you do.
  18. 18. or 306-922-4747 x 235 Warren Dungen, Director