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Keys to Youth Ministry

Bishop Moussa



 There are basic keys that open the door to the hearts of young people and which, with the grace of Christ and the work of His Holy Spirit, make ministry to them easy.

1.  Prayer:

+  Very simply, prayer is to bring God with us into the work thus adding a divine,  unlimited, benign and constructive energy to our limited and inadequate capacity that is liable to lead to mistakes and to error.

+  Prayer opens up our lives to the life of God and opens up God's life to us, bringing together the finite with the infinite.  What a miracle!

+ Prayer is the secret tie that binds the minister with God, obtaining from Him strength, light, and guidance.  It is the secret cord through which the minister is nourished with the strength of the Spirit and the grace of God.

+  Prayer prepares you as a minister to serve, gives you a message that it is alive and effective.  Prayer also prepares those who are ministered to so the word of life might work in them bringing about their repentance and salvation.

+  The minister prays before and during the lesson; he is filled by and is in touch with God, asking for guidance and help.  After the lesson, he prays putting himself, the message, and the listeners into God's hands.

+  The minister prayers before he goes visiting so that the Lord guides him to the needy souls.  He also prays during the visit so that the Lord might speak for the salvation of the listeners and fill them spiritually.  He also prays after the visit so that the work of the Spirit might continue in the hearts of both the minister and those he ministers to.

+  The visit is a spiritual session with the one ministered during which they sit at the feet of Christ. It is not a session between a teacher and his student, for we are all disciples of Christ in constant need of learning.

 2.  Personal Love:

 One of the most important keys in the ministry is personal love to the ministered.  This includes:

+  knowing his name in full.

+  being aware of his circumstances so that you can support him and pray for him.

+  standing by him in the various vicissitudes of life such as sickness, death, failure in studies, and in all the different family and personal problems.

 That is why the minister must have a big heart that has no boundaries, which is naturally more than humans are capable of.  That is why he is united with the Lord so that Love is poured into his heart through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5)

 He also needs to test and examine his love for those he serves, whether it is a love in words or a love in deed;  "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" (1 Jn. 3:18).

 The love of the minister for those he serves should rise to the level of spiritual love (agape), not merely human love (philia).  The love of God is present in spiritual love as is perfection, purity, steadfastness and endurance.  Human love, on the other hand, is limited, deficient, fickle, and unable to endure or forgive.  That is why the Lord says: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed, you are mine" (Is.    ).  He also said: "I know my sheep and my sheep know me..." (Jn. 10: 14); "He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out..." (Jn. 10: 3).

3.  The Word:

 It is the basic key to the salvation of a soul.  The Lord spoke through the apostle Paul saying: "faith comes from hearing the message, and the messages heard through the word of Christ" (Rom. 10: 17).  He explained the chain of witnessing thus:

1.  The need to call man to God so he can be saved.

2.  The need for man to believe in God in order to call on Him.

3.  The need for man to hear the message in order to believe.

4.  The need for the messenger to witness to people so they hear and believe.

5.  The need for the Lord to send servants to witness and preach the word.


 Thus, the chain consists of:

Sending the servants ------- witnessing to people ------- people hearing the good news of salvation ------ believing it ------ calling on God to save them.

 The faithful servant:

 +  reads the word of God every day

 +  has a heart that is completely filled with it

 +  preserves it in his mind and heart so that he does not sin towards God

 +  applies it to his daily life and conduct

 +  offers it to other so they are saved through it.

 He offers the word to others

 +  as a living example ... "be an example"

 +  in spontaneous conversations in his everyday life

 +  in his sermons and during his visits

 +  in tracts that convey the mind and love of Christ to youth

 +  on cassette tapes

 +  on video tapes

4.  Dialogue:

 One of the most important keys in youth ministry is for the minister to be skillful at conducting dialogues.

The Uses of Dialogue:

1.  You get to know the realities of the lives of your charges, their problems and their needs.

2.  You study the possibilities of actually coping with these realities.

3.  The problems appear  .... and are solved.

4.  You take individual differences into account.

5.  You achieve a shared conviction that is free of coercion or of selling an idea.

The Characteristics of Successful Dialogue:

 A successful dialogue has the following characteristics:

1.  A calm and spiritual atmosphere as free as possible of emotionalism.

2.  The chance for everyone to participate without excluding anyone.

3.  The leader must not cancel the group, nor should the group annul the leader.

4.  It should be far removed from dry intellectual arguments.

5.  The time allotted should be appropriate.

6.  The points under discussion have to be clear, not obscure, and there should be no digressions.

7.  No one, including the leader, is to impose an idea on the group.

8. All address the leader after asking for permission and in an orderly fashion without extraneous conversations and arguments.

9.  Beware of making the dialogue dry, or of digressing.  Make sure to end the gathering on an appropriate spiritual note.

 Thus, you achieve a successful dialogue in which everyone is focused on the subject under discussion.  They share in expressing their views and experiences, listen to the opinions of others, and arrive at a quiet and comfortable conviction, as a fundamental preliminary to carrying out the agreed upon decision, to the building up of the individual and the group.

5.  Participation:

 An important final key is for the young people to participate in their meetings:

+  in choosing the subjects and speakers.

+  in choosing the various activities.

+ in working on various committees for parties, trips, visiting, prayer, inviting speakers, ministering to those in hospitals, the sick, the handicapped, orphanages, organizing bazaars, plays, various studies (Biblical, ecclesiastical, hymns, the Coptic language, cultural, national, etc.)

+  using their talents whether artistic, literary, musical, social, athletic, or scouts activities.

+ contributing by making suggestions, expressing opinions, making decisions, and implementing them in all the aspects of their service.

+  sharing in the youth platform

+  participating in youth conferences and festivals.

 This participation develops their personalities and forms them.   It makes use of their energies and keeps them from going astray, firmly establishing them in the Lord and the Church and making of them the ministers of the future.


||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

||    The Orthodox Faith (Dogma)    ||    Family and Youth    ||    Sermons    ||    Bible Study    ||    Devotional    ||    Spirituals    ||    Fasts & Feasts    ||    Coptics    ||    Religious Education    ||    Monasticism    ||    Seasons    ||    Missiology    ||    Ethics    ||    Ecumenical Relations    ||    Church Music    ||    Pentecost    ||    Miscellaneous    ||    Saints    ||    Church History    ||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Patrology    ||    Canon Law    ||    Lent    ||    Pastoral Theology    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bibles    ||    Iconography    ||    Liturgics    ||    Orthodox Biblical topics     ||    Orthodox articles    ||    St Chrysostom    ||   

||    Bible Study    ||    Biblical topics    ||    Bibles    ||    Orthodox Bible Study    ||    Coptic Bible Study    ||    King James Version    ||    New King James Version    ||    Scripture Nuggets    ||    Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus    ||    Index of the Miracles of Jesus    ||    Index of Doctrines    ||    Index of Charts    ||    Index of Maps    ||    Index of Topical Essays    ||    Index of Word Studies    ||    Colored Maps    ||    Index of Biblical names Notes    ||    Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids    ||    New Testament activities for Sunday School kids    ||    Bible Illustrations    ||    Bible short notes

||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

||    Prayer of the First Hour    ||    Third Hour    ||    Sixth Hour    ||    Ninth Hour    ||    Vespers (Eleventh Hour)    ||    Compline (Twelfth Hour)    ||    The First Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Second Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Third Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Prayer of the Veil    ||    Various Prayers from the Agbia    ||    Synaxarium