Is youth ministry at your parish completely dependent on teens just showing up – the “Come to Us” Model? Are you operating out of the pseudo “Field of Dreams Model” of build it and they will come? Sad news is that these models aren’t as effective any more. If you and your team aren’t meeting teens where they are – at school, sports, drama, places where teens work, shopping malls and anywhere else teens are hanging out in your area – chances are you are reaching less and less teens. Teens need to know you care before they will care what you know.
The “Come to Us” Model of ministry doesn’t cut it for the majority of teens today. They need the personal invitation, the outreach and pre-evangelization that many of our protestant brothers and sisters have going strong. It’s time to abandon the model of “Come to Us” and for the Catholic youth ministry mantra to be – “Go to Them!” I know that you are thinking that we need to be careful because of safe environment and all, but the reality is if we apply the model Jesus gave us by going out in 2′s, we can do outreach outside of our parishes safely. At Life Teen we call it the “C Squared” method of outreach. It is simple, if Core members are going to do outreach to teens they need to go in pairs.
So how are you evangelizing teens? Are you waiting for them to come to you or are you outward focused on meeting teens where they are at and going out and getting more teens involved?
“Come to Us” or “Go to Them”? It’s a decision that could make all the difference!