YMAC

Youth Ministry Advisory Council (Y.M.A.C.)

 

 

YMAC agenda and notes from meeting on September 7, 2017

 

The purpose of YMAC is to be a visioning body that will establish and help implement a healthy vision for youth and young adult ministry in the Diocese of Helena.

Why:

Without a long-term vision and plan, we will lose our youth to the World! We must analyze and adopt effective youth ministry strategies that help youth and young adults encounter Christ in ways that are life-changing, life-giving, and life-long.

What:

Topics that we seek to prayerfully address include:

  • Assessing current diocesan youth and young adult ministry events and activities (e.g. Catholic Youth Coalition Board; Leadership Camp; CYC Convention; Justice Outreach Project; etc.)
  • Establishing priorities, goals, and learning outcomes for diocesan youth and young adult ministry
  • Developing common youth ministry standards and expectations in accordance with USCCB guidelines and (inter-)national youth ministry best practices (e.g. updating our Diocese’s “Sourcebook for Catechetical Leadership”)
  • Analyzing current parish, youth and young adult ministry, and “worldly” environments and cultures in order to develop effective youth and young adult ministry practices that best address the current needs of youth and young adults
  • Discerning effective strategies and bridges between ministries that help individuals remain committed to Christ when transitioning between life stages (e.g. middle-to-high school, high school-to-college, college-to-young adult)

Who:

We need a diversity of voices at this table, including pastors, youth ministers, youth, parents, and other caring adults. We are committed, invested, and caring disciples of Christ who are willing to dedicate the time, energy, and resources necessary to think critically, pray diligently, and discern intentionally God’s plan for ministering to His young people in our community.

Minimum expectations to participate in this Council:

  • Active prayer life and commitment to the Catholic Faith, including regular attendance at Mass and active participation in a local faith community (e.g. parish)
  • Love of and concern for the well-being of youth and young adults
  • Willingness to participate in quarterly meetings (roughly 2-3 hours each)
  • Follow-through with commitments that you willingly agree to accomplish.
  • Willingness to communicate information regarding the Council’s work, especially decisions that are made.
  • Read, listen to, or watch assigned resources prior to each meeting (e.g. meeting agendas, relevant documents, encyclicals, books, articles, essays, podcasts, videos, etc.). I promise that it won’t be a huge commitment, but there will be things that take some dedicated time to read/watch/listen between quarterly meetings. (Every 3-4 months, you’ll need more than 1 hour but less than 10.)
  • Complete VIRTUS Safe Environment training (for those who are over 18-years old)

Here are some of the skills and characteristics that we are looking for, in no particular order:

  • Humility. We need individuals with listening hearts who actively seek God’s will and trust in the collective wisdom of the group, even at the expense of their own personal benefits, desires, or particular preferences. Persons with agendas need-not-apply.
  • Prayer Warriors. This Council will only be successful if comprised of individuals who routinely spend personal time with God. We need people who will commit to or already do pray regularly.
  • Joyfulness. This is the work of Christ, so bring a smile! Curmudgeons and cynics who see only the bad in the world, especially when it comes to “kids these days,” will not contribute to the success of this Council. These are serious topics that will take serious thinking and reflection to address. Competing and (gasp!) conflicting ideas are inevitable. Therefore, we absolutely need individuals who can laugh with one another even when disagreeing.
  • God-bearer. We need individuals who are recognized within their own faith communities as bearers of the Catholic Faith, those who are gifted in and committed to sharing the Faith of Christ.
  • Critical Thinking. This Council seeks to objectively assess (and then determine effective models, plans, and strategies for) current and potential youth ministry events, practices, and goals. This means we must be comprised of people who can set aside their prejudices in order to determine what will work best for bringing youth and young adults to Christ.
  • Creativity and Adaptability. This Council needs to be willing to consider new approaches to ministry that, while absolutely grounded in Catholic teaching and tradition, effectively transmit the Faith in ways that are best-suited for present realities.
  • Learners and Seekers. We need individuals who actively seek to learn more about the Faith, past and current youth ministry practices, and ways to share knowledge and experience. Those who think that the only and best approach is “the way it’s always been done” can stay at home and criticize those of us who take risks for Christ…the way it’s always been done.
  • Personal Accountability. If you say you’re going to do something, then we expect you to do it. Even though we seek to focus on vision and “big picture” items in the Council, there will be tasks (e.g. research, prayer, conversations, etc.) that will need to be done between meetings. Talk is cheap. Or, as King Solomon is accredited with saying in Proverbs 14:23:

“In all labor there is profit, but mere talk tends only to loss.

How to get involved:

Contact Kevin Molm at kmolm@diocesehelena.org or 406.207.1660.