Youth News from Pastor Linda
Now that my hours have officially been extended and youth ministry is a part of my portfolio here at Christus Victor, I thought it might be helpful to re-introduce myself in this context.
Youth ministry is how I came into ministry many years ago. When Tom and I were first married, we joined a Lutheran church and were asked to teach fourth grade Sunday School. We both had experience as high school teachers and quickly realized that our strongest gifts were not in working with elementary schoolers. The following year when that church was looking for folks to work in youth ministry, we jumped at the chance to get involved. Eventually that youth work turned in to a ¼ time paid position as Director of Youth and Family Ministries, and I was led down the path to seminary and ordained ministry as I realized that a stronger biblical and theological foundation would enhance my work with the youth.
In my subsequent work on internship and in my first call, I always had some involvement in youth ministry – usually teaching Confirmation. I have attended three ELCA Youth Gatherings and led numerous retreats, lock-ins, and Confirmation camp experiences. With the New Jersey Synod, I worked with the Youth Ministry Specialist to develop training for adult youth leaders in effective models of youth and family ministry.
The goal of our youth ministry is not simply for kids to have fun at church or even to remain connected beyond Confirmation. Rather, our goal is to help them develop into mature Christians. Research indicates that the most effective youth ministry happens not only in traditional Confirmation classes and youth groups, but within the context of the whole congregation and the family.
I am excited about the opportunity to work with our youth here at Christus Victor and to integrate all facets of our faith formation ministries – from early childhood through older adults. If you have thoughts or ideas about youth ministry or want to get involved, please don’t hesitate to reach out.