Sunday, April 19, 2015

Notes from the Liturgical Catechesis and the New Evangelization Conference Part 5: Jim Beckman (Youth)

Here is the 4th installment of my notes from the Liturgical Catechesis conference at the Liturgical Institute at University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein. This is from the talk by Jim Beckman, of the Augustine Institute.

"Liturgy's Vital Role in Discipleship Ministry with Teenagers"

At Augustine Institute - he is the practical guy with 30 years of parish YM. That means he often doesn't fit in with the academics and has to tell them that in the real world "that will never work" He believes that when students graduate each should be a "spiritual multiplier" - someone who evangelizes makes disciples

The current generation and statistics lead us to ask what should we do. His handout quotes "Joy of the Gospel", GDC 53 (Conversion and personal encounter with Jesus Christ) and cites Sherry Weddell's Three Convergent Spiritual Journeys. (Ecclesial journey into the Church through reception of Sacraments, Journey of active practice -attending Mass, participating in the life and mission of the Church; and personal interior journey of a lived relationship with Christ.

Young people today don't connect with the usual structures (Pope Francis)

Story... (Teenager - long pursuit conversion experience - helped by personal mentoring, relationship)

Why is the liturgy so important to discipleship? Because it is about the stuff of our lives.

(See his chapter in Sherry Weddell's Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples)

The "myth of youth ministry" is that we take teens away from their parents and other adults and put them with older teens... It actually should be more like Emmaus - we adults go with them where they are going.. And do mystagogy with them in the midst of their stuff.

We need mentors! We need disciples to disciple people. We are throwing people through classes but if we don't model discipleship as for them, a they don't get it.

Four earmarks of good youth ministry to youth for discipling.
Mutual responsibility
Customization - not program

Engage parents
Form adult leaders well
Set up mentor relationships for teens (use their sponsors for sacraments)
Point teens to sacramental life of the Church
Small groups help make connections in ministry.
Large group activity becomes the small groups coming together.
Use the 4 areas of Formation: intellectual spiritual, human and pastoral
Stay true to the earmarks of a Discipleship approach. - intimacy, mutual responsibility, customization, accountability
Share sacramental life with whole parish IN COMMUNITY. Don't separate the youth....have them experience shared prayer, shared fellowship, shared learning, shared mission (See Acts 2.)

Pope Francis (in Joy of the Gospel) - wants a "missionary option" rather than a structure based on self-preservation. Requires renewal of structures to get people in position to respond to Christ.

Part 6: William Keimig - RCIA


  1. "Each student should be a "spiritual multiplier" - someone who evangelizes makes disciples." Hey that's my goal in 6th grade.

  2. "If we don't model discipleship as for them, they don't get it." Yeah- but if there aren't disciples to fill the slots, the slots still must be filled.