Diocese of Gary Diocesan Youth Council


Fixing the "Busy Problem" in Youth Ministry

One of the things heard most often in ministry- even more today than ever before- is this:

“I’m just too busy.” (Teens)
“They’re just so busy.” (Adult leaders)


At the January 2016 DYC meeting we tackled this ongoing challenge to Catholic youth ministry. Are teens really too busy for YM events and programs, or is it a matter of prioritizing? Or is it a matter of poor scheduling? What can be done to improve things? Can anything be done?! Through a process of small and large group discussions, reps got a chance to provide some valuable insights for youth ministry leaders.



What are the 3 biggest obstacles impacting better youth ministry attendance?

· Not cool enough

· Peer pressure

· Fear of being judged/not cool

· Prior commitments

· Work/School

· Busy/schedule conflicts- work & school

· Busy

· Finding time/too busy

· Lack of interest

· Lack of interest

· Not wanting to go

· Would rather hangout with people somewhere else

· Disorganized

· First-timers are shy

· Family obligations

· No friends attending

· Lack of advertising

· Not advertised well

· No way to get there

· Same schedule

· Not knowing anyone



Using these categories: Social/fun, Prayer, Service, Learning, Other, compare differences in what kinds of programming exists in your YM program, and what you would like to see to improve attendance. Make observations:

· Would like to see more prayer and more service

· Our groups spend a lot of time talking about doing things but not actually doing them

· Would like to see more social, service and prayer

· Would like to see more social

· Would like to see fun, but with religious content (eg rosary-making)

· Would like to see more service projects- get out and do something, which creates bonding opportunities

· Want to see more Adoration

· More fun ways of prayer (eg music, instruments)

· Incorporate learning- not too much, make it fun and exciting

· Less planning, more doing

· Fewer icebreakers



If you were your YM leader, what would you do to increase attendance in YM programs?

· Plan more service projects, both local, and outside the area

· Organization: don’t talk, just do

· Be punctual

· Incentivize

· Well-organized

· Advertise a “set schedule”

· Advertising

· Have teens that attend invite their friends to go

· Have more outings

· Better advertising

· Set, concrete schedule

· Better activities



Speaking for both you and the teens you represent, rank in order the best days of the week for Youth Ministry activities (top vote-getters from all small groups):

1. Sunday evening/night

2. Sunday afternoon

3. Sunday morning (between or after Masses)

4. Saturday afternoon

(t. 5.) Saturday evening/night, Thursday night

7. Tuesday night

No other days/times received votes





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