Blog Core Team Spirituality by Monica Harness A Core Team that prays together stays together. If that sounds familiar, it’s likely because there is a well know quote that says, “A family that prays together stays together”. However, the word family doesn’t need to be changed to Core Team either. After all, Core Teams usually become second families. Core Teams are the foundation of youth ministry. They help spread the love of the Gospel to teens and point them in the direction of Christ. They are more than chaperones on a retreat or an extra adult for small groups. Core Members are youth ministers without the “job title”. Because of their passion, to walk alongside teenagers in their faith journeys they willingly volunteer their time, supporting the program with lots of energy and love. It’s always a good reminder that to lead teens to Christ, Core Members should be rooted in the sacraments and growing in their personal relationship with Him. I was reminded of this last week when we had an emergency come up with a teen. Our Core Team came together in such a beautiful way through prayer. It left me in awe of how our Lord works through the toughest of times, and how He is glorified through suffering. This emergency with a teenager was not the first time our Core Team came together for prayer. It is something we strive to do often, and it helps our spirituality mature individually and as a team. There are many ways that we can grow in our spirituality. Prayer is one of them. Here are some ideas for your Core Team to implement prayer into their daily lives and as a team. Attend Daily Mass. It may be difficult to go to Mass every day of the week due to work schedules. Look at Mass times at other parishes if the schedule at your parish is a conflict with work. Start with choosing one specific day of the week. You’ll find that as time passes, you’ll want to attend more than once a week. Spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel as a team before your Life or Edge Night planning meeting. It is in the silence of our hearts that He speaks to us. What a great way for us to get out of God’s way and let the Holy Spirit plan the night. Core Members assigned to the Proclaim for the night should spend twice as much time praying about the talk as they do writing and planning it. Pray over the Core Member that will be giving the talk for the night. This can be done shortly before the Life Night begins or right before the talk is given with the teens. It’s a great way to model prayer for the teens as well. After the last teens have left for the night, take some time for a recap with the Core Team. What a great time to also share your personal intentions with one another and end the evening praying for each other. Knowing what each other’s hearts are going through and how we can pray for one another can only strengthen the team. Have Core prayer partners for the week. This also helps with accountability. If you make a commitment to pray for someone, you are more likely not to brush off your prayer time when things get busy. As Catholics, we have the opportunity to ask the saints to intercede for us. There are an abundance of Novenas (a devotion of prayer said for nine days) asking for the intercession of different saints. Recently, our Core Team prayed the St. Michael Novena in preparation for our Spiritual Battles semester. You can pray any Novena that is suited for your team’s intentions or prayers of thanksgiving. Pray through 33 Days to Morning Glory together. You can do this any time of the year. There is a chart in the book that lets you know what date to start in order to have your consecration day land on a specific Marian Feast Day. Schedule a Holy Hour (or Holy Half Hour or Holy 15 minutes…you get the idea) into your week. Core Members can do this as a group or individually. Above all, pray with and for each other. One of the ways we build relationships with teens is when we pray with them. Praying over someone may take us out of our comfort zones. Praying with each other as a core team will help ease any nerves we may have. That way, when a teen comes to you and asks for prayers, it’ll make it easier to pray with and for them at that moment. Thank you for all you do to lead teens closer to Christ and His Church. Your example of faith and love make a difference in our world!