Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Boot camp prepares staff and volunteers to lead youth ministries

CHARLESTON—An intense, one-day boot camp was held for youth ministers and volunteers in the Diocese of Charleston.

But don’t worry, no one had to do push-ups or crawl on their bellies through the mud.

It was more of a spiritual boot camp, designed to prepare new youth leaders and volunteers — and those just seeking a refresher — for the essential components of their ministry.

To that end, about 25 people marched into the pastoral center in Charleston on Aug. 1 to meet some of their fellow warriors in the evangelization mission and receive strategic lessons from  veterans in the field.

The diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adults sponsored the event and Deacon Jerry White, director, offered up a list of survival tips.

First and foremost, White said, the most important tool anyone will ever have in his or her arsenal is prayer.

“Your prayer life is more important than your ministry,” he said, “because you can’t give what you don’t have.”

Other speakers at the boot camp session were Mike Sylvester, youth leader from St. Gregory the Great in Bluffton, and Joan LaBone, youth minister at St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken.

They gave the rundown on the essentials, such as budgets and planning, and imparted their wisdom on the importance of building relationships, not just with youth but also with their parents.

In a candid assessment, White laid out the difficulties of ministering to youth who are stressed out, and parents who are stressed out.

“Church life is messy, don’t add to the mess,” he advised.

Sylvester, who has been a youth minister for 15 years, said one of the biggest challenges is finding the balance between wanting to help all the kids and the parents and not neglecting your own life.

“You have to figure out how to pastorally care for students and families and be the face of Jesus in the world. The ministry will always be there — sometimes it has to wait,” he said.

One participant, Estela Landaverde, brought seven youth leaders to the boot camp. Landaverde, from Our Lady of the Hills Church in Columbia, is the diocesan Hispanic youth ministry coordinator. She said the focus for youth ministers is about unity. For example, all upcoming retreats, such as the Search Retreat, will be held in English only.

“We found that all the teens speak English, so we want no barriers,” Landaverde  said. “Our goal is to be all one church with one integrated youth.”

White encouraged all the leaders to reach out to youth by attending their events and extending  personal invitations to them to come check out various functions.

Grace Schneider, youth minister at Our Lady of Peace Church in North Augusta, said she’s looking forward to her second year and applying everything she’s learned.

“At this age, they have so much energy and they just crave that purpose and direction,” she said. “They’re fuses waiting to be lit! Why not light them with Christ?”

Photo, Miscellany/Deirdre C. Mays: Monserrat Jaimes, from Church of the Resurrection Mission in Loris, completes a form at the youth minister boot camp.




Diocesan Events Calendar
View All Events
Feb 177:15 pm Bishop to be Honoree at 75th Fourth Degree Exemplification Banquet - Columbia, SC
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Feb 188:30 am Diaconate Formation Class
From the Calendar of Diaconate
Feb 19 PRESIDENTS DAY No School
From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
Presidents Day No School
From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
NO SCHOOL - Presidents Day Holiday
From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
No School-Presidents Day
From the Calendar of Summerville Catholic School
Faculty In-service
From the Calendar of St. Paul the Apostle School Spartanburg
Presidents' Day/No School
From the Calendar of St. Peter School Columbia
Presidents DayNO SCHOOL
From the Calendar of St. Peter School Beaufort
No School Presidents Day
From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
Presidents Day Holiday **No School**
From the Calendar of St. Martin de Porres School Columbia
Presidents Day - School Closed
From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Anderson
Presidents Day - No school
From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Columbia
No school -holiday
From the Calendar of St. Mary Help of Christians Aiken
Presidents Day NO SCHOOL / No Extended Care Available
From the Calendar of St. John Neumann School Columbia
Presidents Day-no school
From the Calendar of St. Anthony of Padua School Greenville
Presidents Day No School
From the Calendar of St. Anne School Rock Hill
Presidents Day, No school
From the Calendar of Blessed Sacrament Charleston
No School Presidents Day
From the Calendar of Charleston Catholic School
Presidents Day No school
From the Calendar of Divine Redeemer