Though I am no longer a full time employee at a parish, I still consider myself a youth minister. I do a lot of ministering to teens around the country in many parishes, not just one. That being the case, I still found the need to be grounded in a specific community and in a specific ministry. Through a lot of praying my family and I decided that I would volunteer in the middle school ministry at our home parish.
Brian Kelsch, the EDGE middle school youth minister, is a great guy. He follows the Life Teen, Inc. format - Gather, Proclaim, Break, Send - pretty devoutly and so it is easy for Core Members to identify with the flow of the nights. For this ministry I run a small group of 8th grade boys and girls, from 15-25 kids each week.
This small group has been very rewarding, and sometimes frustrating along the way. I think having some of the funniest kids in the room is a double-edged sword. They bring a lot of joy with them, but also a lack of, how do I put this delicately? An inability to shut up. That's it!
For the last two weeks in small group when we meet up, instead of asking vaguely connected-to-the-talk questions that are also supposed to be engaging and fun, we have been praying Lectio Divina as a small group. If you haven't listened to the podcast yet, you should stop reading and go have a listen. It's episode number 2.