I am excited to say that middle school ministry is one of the fastest growing ministries today. When I first began in ministry 15 years ago, there were very few parishes doing middle school youth ministry. However, this year alone, more than 200 parishes have begun implementing the Edge. Why is middle school youth ministry growing so fast? Here are a few thoughts:
- Age Compression – The issues and pressures that used to be more prevalent among older teens are now common among middle school youth. Edge Nights are written to meet those ever-changing and unique needs.
- Classroom model is not working – Youth spend a majority of their day sitting behind desks. They need to be able to move around and be engaged in their formation process. Edge allows youth to use their energy and excitement in a positive way while having a hands-on experience of faith.
- Hollywood is teaching – Hollywood is teaching our youth the values they want to teach. They are not afraid to talk to our youth about sex, drugs, relationships, pregnancy, abortion, gay marriage, etc. Edge Nights become another voice proclaiming the truth of the Catholic faith and make it relevant to the youth.
- Changes – Middle school youth are developing at younger ages. Edge Nights meet the youth where they are at while calling them into a deeper relationship with Christ.
- Relationships change lives – The more we are able to get to know the youth we work with, the better we can help them in their journey of faith. Through our ministry with youth, we commit to walking with them through middle school into high school and beyond.
For those of you who are already doing middle school ministry, thank you! You understand the importance of engaging these youth and laying a solid foundation for life-long faith formation. Find out what other parishes in your area offer middle school youth ministry and work together. For those of you interested in starting the Edge ministry at your parish, please contact me and help introduce you to the wonderful, crazy world of middle school ministry!