Making environments for retreats and life nights are some of my favorite parts of youth ministry. They really take a good life night to the next level and add some “wow!” factor when teens walk in the room.
In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend a lot of money to make a killer environment. However, times are changing and my Church is looking at greatly shrinking our budgets. How can youth ministry keep providing great environments for teens at a fraction of a cost? My solution is to build a few life night set-ups that I can reuse with elements I can swap in and out.
You just signed up for that big summer trip, collected deposits, made parents sign their life away and that they promise to pay the trip amount – now how do you fundraise for it? First of all, you did collect deposits, right?
Big events, mission trips and camps can be expensive and not all of your teens and/or youth can pay directly out of pocket. So we turn to fundraising. I can tell you, there are hundreds of ideas for fundraisers (and variations of those fundraisers) and I’ll address those in another blog soon. However, I also want to share some lessons I’ve learned about fundraisers.
A few weeks ago my diocese hosted a new youth minister orientation. As I prepared for the day, it brought back a number of memories of my first years in parish life. There was a certainly a steep learning curve that first year and, honestly, in subsequent years as well. When I started my first job, I wanted to talk to teens about Jesus and the Catholic Church. I had no idea that there were so many other aspects to youth ministry. No one told me the bishop was going to ask me what we were going