PEP Newsletter

Ideas For Your Parish

_______________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                       July, 2022

Connecting With Young Adults

              One of the desires on many Catholic parishes’ wish-list is a thriving ministry for those in their twenties and thirties.  “Where are the young people?” many parishioners complain.  “I look around and all I see are a bunch of gray heads.  There is no future for us with this clientele.”  Enter the Miami Vineyard in southern Florida.  It has a mission of “loving all people into a growing relationship with Jesus.  Whether you are looking for a fresh start, second chance or a community of faith to set down roots, we’re a great church for you.” (  One of its many successes is a thriving Young Adult Ministry, many of whom are pictured in this photo.

Success Factors

              Two monthly events keep the twenty and thirty year olds coming back for more.  The first is a “Monthly Network Night.”  The goal of the experience is to have young adults who do attend invite their friends to this “cool thing happening.”  These nights are for those who might be intimidated by a small group environment.  After checking in, people enter a large room where there is music playing, food available, plenty of time to connect with others.  There are usually group activities and games, all aimed to help people feel comfortable and ‘at home,’ as well as getting to know others they had not previously met.  The winners of the games receive prizes, including gift cards, tee-shirts and the like.  Towards the end of the evening there is a brief period for prayer and quiet reflection, about fifteen minutes in all.  It includes a short presentation, one-on-one interaction or questions from the group as a whole.

              The second event takes place once a week and stresses small groups sharing.  At 7:30 pm all meet briefly together for reconnecting, mingling and snacks.  This is followed with a large gathering for announcements and common prayer.  Then everyone splits into small groups, some made up of only men or women, others are mixed singles, while still others focus on couples.  Most use prepared discussion materials, either written or on video, others have a topic or question that participants have usually reflected on before the meeting.  Towards the end, time is called in order to space for closure and a concluding prayer.

              Nick Hage, the Communications Pastor commented, “A big deal for us as a church is that Young Adults Ministry does not become a church community separate from the larger Miami Vineyard.  This is why we encourage our young people to serve during weekend services, to plug into the life of the church, to serve on outreaches, to invest in kids/youth by serving in those areas.”

A Plan of Action

Knowing that establishing a Young Adult Ministry in a parish is no easy task, here are tips to help this happen:

  1. The pastor, staff, council and leaders make a commitment to become a “young-adult-friendly” parish
  2. Parishioners are encouraged to welcome and accept young people into the parish community
  3. The Finance Council makes this ministry a spending priority by providing a budget for implementation
  4. Parishioners are asked to locate as many young adults as possible, inviting them to a special gathering
  5. A committee is formed to hire a young adult minister who can create and lead the program
  6. Trial periods of three months, six months and one year are built into the job description
  7. The new minister and young adult leaders construct goals, name desired outcomes and form traditions
  8. Contacts are made with successful programs from around the country as a way of discovering “what works”
  9. Personal contact and social media are used for inviting young people to events and activities
  10. Include many options for young people to become involved, such as  trips, parties, social outreach, tutoring, etc.