Are You Planking?

The past few months people keep sending me planking photos. Planking†is an activity or game consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location. The hands must touch the sides of the body and having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the internet is an integral part of the game.†Players […]

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10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a Youth Minister

I recently posed a question on my Twitter and Facebook pages to a variety of youth ministers asking, “What things do you wish someone told you before you became a youth minister?” After receiving a variety of responses, it was evident that there were many recurring themes. For those of you who are thinking of becoming youth ministers, and even for some of you grizzly veterans who have seen one too many high school productions of “Grease,” here are 10 things I wish someone told me before I became a youth minister (with a little help from my friends).

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Responding to the Death of a Teen

I minister in a town of about 50,000 drawing on 3 different high schools. In the last 18 months, 8 high school teenagers have died unexpectedly from car accidents, illness, and suicide. In the midst of all of this tragedy, I have learned 4 important lessons about how we should respond to teen death within our communities.

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The Role of Music within the Liturgy

Fr. Robert Schreiner, priest for the Diocese of Crookston, shares the role of music within the Liturgy. If you have ever had a question about music, the Liturgy, and Life Teen, this is a must watch video. The video comes from the 2010 Life Teen Liturgy and Music Conference.

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16 Great Summer Youth Ministry Activities Close to Home

Once you have got all your big summer trips planned, be sure to add in some other activities to keep up the relational ministry you have begun during the school year. These summer months give us an opportunity to be creative in our efforts to build our relationships with teens, especially because they tend to have more time.

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Lent in Your Youth Ministry: Making the Most of the Season

Lent already? How is that possible? One minute we’re celebrating Christmas, we blink, and it is Ash Wednesday. Somewhere in the blur of time we forget to fully enter into this holy season.Often we get so caught up in the day- to-day operations of meetings, phone calls, emails and Life Night planning that we forget to take a second to stop and think about where the Church is leading us.

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Are You Making a Small Deal Out of Confirmation?

It continually surprises me when I get asked the question, “Can we just make Life Nights our parish Confirmation program?” Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason for the question: not enough time to do Life Teen and Confirmation or you don’t have enough catechists or you’re trying to kill two birds with one […]

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Finding a Spiritual Director (and what to expect)

I remember one day in seminary hearing the very direct words of one of the faculty– “a priest without a spiritual director is a menace.” It was a bold statement, but the emphasis on spiritual direction was important. The history of the Church has always held the position of spiritual director as vital to the life of any clergy or religious. Today that still holds true, but many lay men and women, especially those in a life of ministry, also find a spiritual director to be a huge benefit.

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Advice from a Priest: Finding Your Place on the Parish Staff

Let me set the scene: It’s the parish staff meeting. Its always bright and early… 9am, even if you had Bible study until 9pm last night. Everyone grabs coffee and the conversation begins with the process of going around the table talking about “calendar items”. Then, the topics go to things like who didn’t put the chairs away last night or to the roof leaking again. If it’s a good week, there aren’t any references to your youth being loud or leaving trash around. The meeting goes longer than expected, and at the end, you wonder if anyone on the staff has any idea at all what you do as a youth minister.

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