At the end of most ministry years I survey my teens. I like to find out what they liked about our gatherings that year, what they disliked, and how I could make our gatherings better for them.
This year I took a little different approach and expanded the survey a bit. Sharing some of the results with our adult leadership team brought me to tears and I don’t cry in public often. When I shared this with them, I said, I need to make sure their parents know this. It’s affirming that we have great families at St. Ambrose!
Parents. I asked your kids this question. I get along OK with my parents: 1 did not answer. 1 said no. 5 were unsure. BUT 55 of our students responded YES! I’m sure sometimes you wonder as do I. Your kids love you. They really do! Exhale! You’re doing a great job. Now, join me in prayer for the 1 student that said no and the other 5 that were unsure. We’ve got to wrap those families in prayer and let them know that we’re here for them!
I’d also like to share with you some other tidbits of information I gathered from your kids. One of my favorite stats to share after this survey is that all 62 of those who took the survey responded Yes to: I feel good enough about our youth group to recommend it to my friend. This stat made me feel ecstatic. We work hard in making the youth here feel welcomed, loved, connected, and faith filled. I’m thrilled that they would share this with their friends. All are welcome!
Another pat on our back for parents or an affirmation none the less. When asked, Do you come to youth group because you want to, your parents want you to, or a little bit of both: 39 responded they want to, 0 responded that their parents want it, and 23 responded that it’s a little bit of both. I often tell parents who tell me that they struggle to get their kids to youth group that if they would just get them through the doors most of the time kids end up enjoying their time here. I think this statistic proves just that. I’m always o.k. with parents encouragement but I love that 63% of our youth come on their own accord.
Now I have a summer assignment for you. I do have on statistic that I’d like to work on this summer and next ministry year as well. I asked our students, I take personal time for prayer at least 3 times a week: Yes-35, Unsure-11, No-16. Perhaps they weren’t counting Mass as prayer or our hour together at Youth Ministry a prayer or could they just be admitting that they need to work on prayer. 43% are unsure or don’t pray 3 times a week. I need your help! We need to foster this prayer life in our homes. I’m going to make a top 10 list of ways to pray with your teens next week. But for now, join me in prayer that we can lead our youth to a better prayerful relationship with Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you for the gift of our young church at St. Ambrose. We are blessed with youth leaders and adult leaders who continually pour their hearts into this young church so that they can foster a closer relationship with you. We know you desire this Lord to have a personal encounter with each of them so that they may be true disciples of you. We ask your guidance Lord in helping foster a greater prayer life in our youth who struggle. Please show us the path that you would like for us to take with them. Let us be open to teaching them to pray always and in All Ways. As we work to make our families a place to pray together we just ask your blessings on us as we work to open their hearts to you. In your name we pray. Amen.