Is there Parishnormal Activity happening surrounding youth ministry at your parish?
- do the Knights of Columbus accuse the teens of taking all their left over ketchup packets from last year’s Parish picnic?
- is the key to the closet in the Parish Hall now attached to a Hockey stick because you as youth leader forgot to put it back at 11 o’clock one Sunday night after a 14 hour day?
- do the volunteers no longer invite the teens to help stuff parish bulletins ever since “the incident” of 2009?
- are you asked to cram 75 teens into a cry room to meet because the Parish Arts and Crafts Bazaar Committee wont change their meeting room?
- do the teens only get called to serve when there are 6000 cans of food that need to be moved out of the Parish food pantry?
- do parishioners avoid you after Mass for fear of being recruited to your Edge Core Team?
- does the Parish secretary walk by exhaling deeply enough to launch a kite because “the teens” are being too loud in the Youth Ministry office?
All of the above are Parishnormal Activities or what would be mostly normal for many parishes. The tougher question is are there “not so” Parishnormal Activities taking place at your parish as well?
Here’s a quick list of some “not so” Parishnormal Activities:
- do most teens attend Mass regularly on Sunday?
- is there no doubt that the parish is youth friendly?
- are teens showing up for reconciliation regularly and not just on youth retreats?
- do teens randomly show up to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament?
- is it a regular sight for people to see the youth minister attending daily Mass?
- does your pastor know at least 10 teens by name?
- does your parish staff regularly pray for teens and all parishioners?
- is there a core team of at least one core team member to every 8 teens you have attending?
- is it normal for your priest to stop by to chat about the exciting things happening in youth ministry with the youth leader?
- are there past or present teens who have entered or are praying about entering the seminary or joining religious life?
- are some teens parents being transformed and getting back involved in the Catholic faith?
- is a “Glory Story” about how God is moving in the life of one of your teens or core members shared often?
- do you see teens involved in leadership roles and serving on mission trips and local outreaches?
There will be plenty of Parishnormal Activity. In my experience it is the “not so” Parishnormal Activity that is making the most impact these days.What are you experiencing more of at your parish – the Parishnormal Activity or the “not so” Parishnormal Activity? The answer will let you know if you are on track.