Youth Ministry (YM) in the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Church of America is an ongoing initiative to help youth ages thirteen through eighteen develop the moral and religious foundations to become followers of Christ and faithful Armenian Apostolic members of their communities. More than a program, Youth Ministry is an opportunity for our youth to explore ideas, values, and faith within the context of a supportive community of peers and adults. Youth Ministry affords our teens the opportunity to understand and develop their identities as Armenian Apostolic Christians and how their rich Armenian faith heritage can equip them to address everyday choices and life situations.
WHAT DO YOUTH MINISTRY (YM) GROUPS LOOK LIKE?
The youth groups utilize a small group format with multimedia materials designed to help teens engage in contemporary topics from a Christ-centered Armenian perspective. Time tested best practices indicate that young people develop authentic, long-lasting trust in small, gender-specific groups of five to ten people. In these small groups, lead by adult mentors known as youth ministry facilitators, our young people are provided an opportunity to participate in guided discussions and challenges that relate to their daily lives all while having a fun relaxed time of fellowship with friends. Individual small groups meet several times a month in their local parishes and gather collectively, Prelacy-wide, periodically to engage in social events and service projects that reinforce topics discussed and foster further fellowship among the teens and the larger community.
HOW CAN TEENS BENEFIT FROM YOUTH MINISTRY?
By participating in Youth Ministry our young adults will develop the necessary tools to ground themselves in their faith and teachings of our Church. Our adolescents, equipped with these tools can more easily navigate the demands of today’s culture and its many conflicting ideologies.
Reflecting on the Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16 where Christ instructs us to be like salt and to shine our light before others so that they may see the good works and glorify the Father in heaven, our prayer is that our youth may be reminded of their unique inheritance both as Armenians and Apostolic Christians and that they may walk in this reality.
HOW CHURCH BENEFITS FROM YOUTH MINISTRY?
Youth Ministry is not just an activity for teenagers. By design, youth ministry is intergenerational. Mature adult women in the community lead our young ladies while mature adult men in our communities lead our young men. The teens draw on the experience and wisdom of their adult youth ministry facilitators while the church community draws on the vitality and unencumbered vision of our teens. By partnering with parents as their teens look to establish their independence, Youth Ministry facilitators help reinforce the authority of parents and strengthen the relationship they have with their teens and the values they strive to instill in them.
Interested in learning more about Salt and Light Youth Ministry? Contact Talene Yeremian Artinian at firstname.lastname@example.org