Youth Ministry is in decline.

Have you noticed it’s becoming more difficult to attract new students to engage with your youth ministry? They’re very skeptical of organized religion and many other activities are asking for their affection, attention, and time. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, religion, youth ministry.. for many different reasons, they just doesn’t feel they add enough value to their lives to make it on their schedule. How do we get students to reprioritize their schedules and engage with your youth ministry again? We want to help you attract new students and develop life-long disciples for Jesus.

We failed every week.
At Catalyst MVMT we struggled to strike a balance between hosting an event and fostering discipleship. It’s attractional events versus intentional discipleship. We attempted to offer incredible events that students would change their schedules for and tell their  friends about. At the end of the event we would worship together, have a short message and gather into discussion groups. By trying to accomplish both events and discipleship in the same night, we ended up failing both every week.

Why didn’t it work?
Hosting an incredible event every week isn’t practical. It’s takes a lot of resources to do well. Time and money is not something most youth ministries have in abundance. Discipleship happens best in the context of relationship and community. A place where you feel needed and known. This is difficult to achieve within a large group of students who are hyped up from experiencing a great event and are energized by copious amounts of sugar, caffeine, and who knows what else. In hindsight, the obvious conflict of desired outcomes appears clear.

What’s the answer?
We are hosting a large event the first Wednesday of every month. There will be free food and some form of unmissable entertainment. This will be easy for students to attend and invite friends to. The other three weeks of the month will be allocated to building relationships and community in the context of a small group. The rest of this document explains this ministry model.

OUR ministry model infographic

The traditional youth ministry model attempts to attract new students while deeply teaching existing students. These two goals compete with one another and neither really wins. The uniquely better ministry model is to have two unique contexts that are specific to the two outcomes we are hoping to achieve.

Our monthly schedule.
1st Wednesday - large attractional event
2nd - 4th Wednesdays - small groups meet
5th Wednesdays (occurs quarterly) - we’ll use
these weeks to engage in local service projects

What are we offering?
1) monthly events for your students
2) weekly video content for student groups
3) training for your group leaders
4) digital and printed marketing materials
5) an app with resources for students

What are we asking for?
1) Transportation - get your students to the monthly events (or host your own event)
2) Student Group Leaders - recruit leaders for your local groups, assure they receive training and are ready to successfully lead their group.
3) Help Get The Word Out - advertise the events in your church and community.