Ministers, Get to Know Your Youth!
Ministers, Get to Know Your Youth!
Youth ministry is all about relationships! Ministers often don’t know where to start with the youth in their congregation. But the minister sets the tone for building and maintaining a healthy multigenerational culture. Here are the three basic steps I recommend as a starting point:        
  • Learn everyone's name. This is a powerful signal that you care about them as individuals.
  • Hang out with your youth once in a while. You don't have to solve problems or offer advice; spending time with them speaks for itself.
  • Meet with your graduating seniors in a one-hour pastoral conversation, perhaps the single most cost-effective thing you can do to help stay connected to your youth as they move through the difficult transition into young adulthood. Let them know you’ll always be there! This is also emphasized in the new Bridging Handbook for Congregations.
Want to know more about how to work with youth in your congregation? Visit the Advising page at   This post was included in the November 14, 2012 edition of the One & One Newsletter, published weekly by the UUA Ministries and Faith Development Staff group.  

About the Author

  • Carey McDonald is the UUA's Executive Vice President. He's a lifelong UU who has worked in nonprofit, government, political and progressive organizations.

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