How Can Sports Support Ministry to Youth
How can parishes help to keep the focus of youth sports on youth? The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in Renewing the Vision, established several goals for youth ministry:
- To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.
- To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.
- To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.
The USCCB outlined eight areas of focus to support those goals: advocacy, catechesis, community life, evangelization, justice & service, leadership development, pastoral care, and prayer & worship.
Parents, family members, coaches, and others involved in the NVJCYO Diocesan sporting leagues have an incredible opportunity and responsibility to support these goals--beyond the important yet often singular focus of building community life. Coaches and teams can click here for the components of effective youth ministry and some ideas for coaches and teams as well as visit the Catholic Diocese of Arlington's Office of Youth Ministry website for Diocesan events, activities and resources.
Another way we can support this effort is through our own spiritual growth so we can better serve youth in each of the goals. The Diocese offers many resources for youth and adult leaders including:
- 2Minutes2Virtue (brief videos)
- Journey to Emmaus (brief videos and discussion questions--these resources were pulled together to supplement the high school youth ministry curriculum but many of the videos are appropriate for middle school-aged youth)