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Summit reflection video for The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity with Joel Stepanek.
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Life Teen strengthens our teens' Catholic identity, while rooting them firmly in Christ and in His Church.
by Life Teen
There’s just something about a handheld microphone that gives you instant credibility as a youth minister. Maybe it’s because you can have the loudest voice in the room. Maybe it’s because it allows you to have better command of your youth group. Maybe it’s because it makes you look like some sort of youth ministry gangsta even when that battery cover is held together with 2 rolls of duck tape.
There is nothing that evokes a wider ranger of emotions than walking into a high school lunchroom. You both feel simultaneously bold, apostolic, timid, and self-conscious: “Wow, I’m just like the Apostle Paul walking into the Areopagus about to preach Christ . . . wait, are those football players judging me? Oh boy, where am I supposed to sit? What if no one wants to sit with me? I gotta get out of here!”
Thankfully, God was only preparing me for my future career. After all, as youth ministers, we know that there are only so many times you can shave your head until you have to find a new way to get teens to come to youth group. Why not try a costume?
Oh how thankful I was for our maintenance man. While the bookkeeper couldn’t understand how chocolate syrup, marshmallows, and a marshmallow shooter could lead teens closer to Christ, the maintenance man had no questions, only suggestions:“You know, Eric. If you take the marshmallow and dip it in butter first, you’d be surprised how far they go.”
I want to let you in on a youth ministry secret that took me years to realize – if you want to sound smarter, you need to cite passages from the Bible in your talks. Now, that may sound simple to you and perhaps you already do this, if so, you know where I am coming from.
As youth ministers we love our over-the-top kickoffs. It’s our chance to show the teens that contrary to popular belief we do get outside our chapels and know how to have a good time. Hey, and maybe, just maybe if we do it well enough, they’ll come back the following week. One could only hope right? After all, what’s the point of a great Fall Kickoff if the teens don’t get to experience Jesus the other various times we meet throughout the year.
So here is what I realized: We need great Catholic speakers, but we need great youth ministers, because those speakers aren’t coming home on the bus – you are. Those speakers won’t be at your local high school – you need to be. And ten years from now, a teen may remember a great talk, but they aren’t going to invite that speaker to their wedding – they are going to invite you.
If you’ve ever listened to a youth minister, you have probably heard him or her talk about a number of things, including but not limited to: Jesus, the Church, the best use of shaving cream in an opening icebreaker. Being pulled in so many different directions, youth ministers have an array of knowledge on many […]
Simply put, acronyms make our lives a little bit easier, allow us to seem a little bit cooler, and show teens that we can speak their language. This way teens know that when they tell us they will BRB or that they are JK, we can feel like we too FI (Fit In- Yeah, I made that up. Now try dropping it on your teens). So, much like the river, we just need to let the acronyms flow, unless any of you happen to know a Doctor Emmett Brown, and if so, I need to contact him ASAP.
Then there were the times when I was really desperate and would make grand promises: “We’ve got a mystery guest tonight. You won’t want to miss this.”And how did the teens respond?“That Life Night was good, but it wasn’t the best ever.”“I thought you said there were going to be some surprises.”“I don’t know if you dressed as Batman really qualifies as a mystery guest.”