Written by Marco Ceccarelli Original article on The Record
Perth Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) sees great potential in Christian youth leadership and wants to ensure that future leaders are well equipped to successfully carry out their role.
The agency recently held its annual Master Class in Youth Leaders’ training at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Highgate, Perth. The two-day learning experience consisted of talks and workshops presented by some of the best in youth ministry leadership from Perth.
According to CYM leader Vincent Haber, who was also a speaker at the event, the number of attendees ranged from 35 to 40, 80 per cent of whom had already experienced youth leadership in their parishes while 20 per cent were new to the ministry.
Primary speakers at the CYM Master Class this year were Mario Borg and Emma Passmore from the Disciples of Jesus, Karl Brown from Ignite Youth and Justine Howard from The University of Notre Dame.
Other speakers included CYM Perth Director Anita Parker, and Eliza McKay, also from CYM, along with fellow Perth Catholic Clare Pike.
The aim of the CYM Master Classes is to create a friendly learning environment where those who wish to serve the parish and engage in youth leadership are guided and coached to reach their full potential.
In the words of Mr Haber, the Master Class, “empowers them, and helps them develop skills to become better at their craft”.
“If they’re looking to learn more things about the youth ministry, how to run youth nights more effectively and how to become an effective youth leader, the classes are there to empower and encourage them in their ministry.”
Among the numerous and diverse topics raised this year, particular attention was devoted to self-care, discipleship, face-to-face ministry and social media.
Referring to the discussion on self-care, Mr Haber stated that the speakers did a wonderful job in explaining how youth leaders should look after themselves not only spiritually, but mentally and physically.
“It is not all spiritual, you need to have a healthy body, eat well, and, more importantly, be accountable for one another. You are not here by yourself, you can ask other people to look after you or you can look after others,” he said.
The discussions on face-to-face ministry and social media, on the other hand, laid emphasis on better engaging with young people into the 21st century.
Mr Haber stated that while effective public speaking and direct interaction with youth remains a cornerstone of working with Christian youth, practising electronic youth ministry using social media networks is equally as important.
“It was an intense day and a half,” Mr Haber said, “but the young people were very receptive and very cooperative. They sat there, listened and gave us amazing feedback.”
In feedback received by CYM, participants described the event as “engaging, interesting, educational, passionate and inspiring”.
Another testimony read, “The Master Class has empowered me with knowledge on how to approach various aspects of my leadership, as well as the do-nots”.
Master Classes are run by CYM annually at the beginning of the year.
To ensure continuity, the speakers often meet with youth leaders on a monthly basis to review the topics discussed and provide ongoing support.