Youth Mission is grounded in the mission of the Church.
As one among many ministries of the Church, youth ministry must be understood in terms of the mission and ministry of the whole Church. …the Church’s mission is threefold: to proclaim the good news of salvation, offer itself as a group of people transformed by the Spirit into a community of faith, hope, and love; and to bring God’s justice and love to others through service in its individual, social, and political dimensions. (Vision 3).
Far from peripheral to the church’s concern, youth ministry is essential for helping the Church realize its mission with its young members. In this light, you could say that youth ministry means becoming Church with young people and their families, – focusing the ministries of the church upon this unique stage of life with its distinct life tasks and social context and then actively engaging young people as disciples in the mission of Jesus Christ and the Church. The Canadian “We Are Strong Together” youth ministry vision paper, “bases the foundation for youth ministry upon the aspect of relationship that exists within the Trinity. In this community of perfect love, persons know and are known, love and are loved, and together generate life.”
This threefold mission of the church, rooted in the reign of God as proclaimed by Jesus, forms the basis for the goals and the framework or components of youth ministry: Word (Evangelization and Catechesis), Prayer and Worship, Community Life, Justice and Service, Pastoral Care (Guidance and Healing), Leadership Development (Enablement), and Advocacy. Using the following chart, the correlation between the components of youth ministry and the mission of the Church is unmistakable.
Mission of the Church
Component of Youth Ministry
|Proclamation of the Gospel in word and in sacrament, in an organized and authorized manner.||Evangelization, Catechesis, Prayer & Worship|
|Proclamation of the Gospel by the quality of the Church’s own life.||Community Life, Guidance/Pastoral Care|
|Proclamation of the Gospel by application of the Gospel to the struggle for social justice, peace, and human rights.||Justice and Service, Advocacy|