We continue our long look at Youth Ministry with Pope Francis. (Remember, his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation can be found on this link at the Vatican site.) Two main courses of action present themselves in these paragraphs and those that follow. Let’s read about reaching out to others and spiritual growth:
209. I wish simply to emphasize that youth ministry involves two main courses of action. One is outreach, the way we attract new young people to an experience of the Lord. The other is growth, the way we help those who have already had that experience to mature in it.
210. As for outreach, I trust that young people themselves know how best to find appealing ways to come together. They know how to organize events, sports competitions and ways to evangelize using social media, through text messages, songs, videos and other ways. They only have to be encouraged and given the freedom to be enthused about evangelizing other young people wherever they are to be found.
Of course, this is a challenge for people outside such groups. Is there trust from clergy, parents, parish ministers? Not always in my experience. Perhaps there was more freedom in the 70s in many places.
When the message is first brought up, whether at a youth retreat, in a conversation at a bar, on school holidays, or in any of God’s mysterious ways, it can awaken a deep experience of faith. What is most important, though, is that each young person can be daring enough to sow the seed of the message on that fertile terrain that is the heart of another young person.
The message spoken of here is the life and mission of Jesus. Any comments?
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