Vital youth ministry and resilient Unitarian Universalist youth begin with healthy, spiritually mature adults. For those new to this ministry, start with our Youth Ministry Staff and Volunteer Start Up Guide. Companioning youth on their spiritual journey is an important ministry, one that adults might not know what they’re getting into when they sign up. Adults aged 25 and older who are part of their congregation’s ministry to and with youth may be religious educators, Sunday school teachers, youth program coordinators, youth group advisors, Our Whole Lives teachers, Coming of Age mentors, Bridging mentors, conference sponsors, service trip leaders or committee or ministry team members. Congregational leaders have a responsibility to ensure those working with youth are competent companions for youth.
Youth ministry is everyone’s ministry. Adolescence is a time of increasing complexity, and youth construct their identities based on their experiences. Meaningful engagement with adults who are living authentically nurtures appreciation of our inherent human diversity. Being a strong role model who acts with integrity supports youth in their racial and gender identity development, serves as multigenerational pastoral care and helps them articulate their own belief system and live their lives as Unitarian Universalists. We are grateful for your willingness and excitement to companion our youth on their spiritual journey. Reviewing the Competencies for Ministry To/With Youth is a great way to start your journey.