When it comes to youth ministry, it may be time for the Anglican Church of Canada to wake up and smell the coffee.
According to the church’s national coordinator for youth initiatives, few congregations see that youth ministry is something that grows out of the community itself. Judy Steers spoke to the Journal at Common Ground 2011, an ecumenical conference for youth ministers and volunteers held in June.
Youth ministry is often the first thing to be cut from program when a church starts to feel the budget crunch, Steers pointed out. “I think the reality is that it’s something that a church needs to make an integral part of its ministry.”
Involving youth in the life of the church and making a firm commitment to support them are key steps toward building a vibrant youth ministry, said Steers, who is director of the Ask & Imagine youth theology and leadership program at Huron University College here.
Steers sees a significant role for grassroots networks between youth ministers and volunteers, both regionally and across the country.