Leadership for Comprehensive Youth Ministry
"Part of the vision of youth ministry is to present to youth the richness of the person of Christ, which perhaps exceeds the ability of one person to capture, but which might be effected by the collective ministry of the many persons who make up the Church" (quoted from A Vision of Youth Ministry, p. 24).
Leadership in youth ministry involves four levels of participation:
- Youth Ministry Coordinator
- Youth Ministry Coordinating Team
- Program Leaders
- Support Roles
Leadership Roles in Youth Ministry
Coordinator of Youth Ministry
The Ministry Coordinator facilitates the people, programming, and resources of the parish community in a comprehensive ministry effort. Effective youth ministry programs rely on the ministry coordinator to develop leaders, coordinate the plans, and connect the youth ministry to the overall parish programs. The emphasis of this position is on coordinating ministries rather than doing ministries with youth.
- Developing Leaders
- Serving as an advocate and link for Youth
The role of the Ministry Coordinating Team is to help assess, prioritize and respond to the needs of youth in the parish. This team is a group of youth and adults in the parish who partner with the Youth Ministry Coordinator to "connect all the pieces." A Ministry Coordinating Team organizes the comprehensive ministry with adolescents by planning the overall ministry, developing a leadership system, identifying the resources of the faith community, and connecting the ministry with the other ministries and programs of the Church (Renewing the Vision, page 41).
- Adults and Young People
- Plans overall ministry
- Develops Leadership System
- Identifies Resources
- Connects Youth Ministry with the other ministries and programs on the faith community
Program Leaders are Adults or Youth who animate specific ministry programs. A program leader is responsible for a particular youth ministry effort, which includes program development, promotion, implementation, and evaluation. These adult and youth leaders contribute their time, energy, and gifts to youth ministry according to interest and abilities. Among the leadership positions, there is a variety of jobs, levels of commitment, and required time.
- Conducts specific programs
- Could be direct service with young people or a behind-the-scene role
- Could be short term or an on-going commitment on a regular basis
For every ministry program, leaders need helpers to make it a success. A support role may be to provide direct support for Program Leaders in youth ministry. Another way to support youth ministry in indirect ways is to be an advocate and a link for youth and families.
- Provide assistance that helps individual programs and the overall ministry function effectively