I am in Orlando today!  The weather is seasonable… which means it’s not really beach-warm.  But it is the end of November after all.

I am here for the National Conference for Catholic Youth Ministry… aka NCCYM… because everything in Catholic-world has a long name and we don’t like to spend the energy to say it all.  Besides, we love alphabet soup!  NCCYM…NFCYM… USCCB… NCEA… NCCL… NCCC… NCYAMA… NACYML… on and on.

Perhaps we were the original Bitly… LOL!

My Presentation

I was invited by NFCYM {National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry} to be a presenter for Rural and Small Town Ministry.  Such an honor!

And a challenge.  My task is to synthesize all I have learned in my years in mission diocese ministry.

I’m glad they asked me in May… it’s taken a good six months to figure this out and assess the lessons.


[ *** If you will be attending my session tomorrow, you might want to stop reading now.  I’m going to share the secret sauce.  You will get it live at 3:00 pm EST on Thursday.  But for the rest of you… here you go.]

The informal-not-printed-in-the-conference-program title of my presentation is:  How Zombies Ninjas Pirates and Superheroes teach Us the In’s and Out’s of Youth Ministry.  Catchy, huh?

And I know I don’t have to translate that for you, but I will anyway:  Evangelization Catechesis Stewardship and Service in Youth Ministry.  More catchy, right?

But that’s not what I’m going to give you now.  For that part, you’ll have to get to Orlando by tomorrow.

Elaine’s Secret Sauce

No… right now I’m going to share the lessons I’ve learned over the past 16 years in mission territory.  I call it… The Secret Sauce.  But it’s not really that secret because I’m sure you already know this stuff.

Connection is vital.

There are no magic ideas or programs that will reach everyone in our parishes.  I’m sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but this is entirely true.  The only real way to reach people is one-by-one just like Jesus did… and that involves a lot of time / energy and personal investment of your heart.  Making connections with people is vital.

Relationships are the key.

You become like the people you associate with.  If you want to be a better basketball player, you have to play with better players than you.  If we want to grow in faith, then we need to seek out opps to learn and share what we believe.  Again, that calls all of us to a greater investment of ourselves.

You must live consciously on a higher plane.

Should you Eat/Pray/Love faith and God?  Well… Yes!

How often do you meet people at the grocery store or other places who know you are a person of faith?  What impression do you want to give them?

We are all called to live to a higher standard.  Not only because we are Catholic people… but also because we are witnesses of Jesus and the Gospel.

Success in anything comes from the accumulation of small progressive steps.

Success won’t come overnight.  It just doesn’t.

Whether we are trying to become a more active prayer-er or working on fixing bad habits, we have to put in the time and energy every day to make lasting change in ourselves.  Everything about our world these days is instantaneous… but it’s just not that way in the spiritual life.

So… apply those lessons to the life of a youth minister and you will get the gist of the first part of my presentation tomorrow.

If you’re not going to be there but still want to learn about zombies ninjas pirates and superheroes… send me an email.

Peace out.


About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

What do you think? Love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s