By Clayton Imoo
Advent is about waiting. Anticipating. Expecting. Preparing. Hoping. This sounds a lot like youth ministry to me.
We wait for youth to commit their lives to Jesus. We wait for them so we can start our youth gatherings. We wait for their parents to come pick them up at the end of our events.
We anticipate the arrival of youth at our gatherings with our eyes fixated on the door. We anticipate their confusion or their silence when we are preparing small group discussions. We anticipate their excitement when we announce the dates of retreats and rallies.
We expect the youth to behave when they are at Church. We expect that more youth will come out to social events than teaching nights. We expect that Father will ask us “So how many people came to youth ministry last night?”
We prepare prayer services, social justice excursions, and skits. We prepare snacks to serve the youth either before, during, or after the gathering. We prepare them to be able to share their testimonies with a world that so desperately needs to hear them.
We hope that we are making a difference in the youths’ lives. We hope that they make good decisions especially in the face of temptation. We hope that their homes are stable and that their friends are good.
Most of all, we love them where they are at and we lead them to an encounter with Jesus Christ.
Just as Christ entered the world to love and encounter us.
Clayton Imoo is husband to Gail and father to sons Sean Isaiah and Jacob Isaac and daughter Kayla Marie. He has served as the Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver for the past eleven years, helping parishes develop their own youth and young adult ministries. When not doing ministry, Clay enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, playing sports, playing naptime, and writing blogs on topics such as family, faith, and the Vancouver Canucks. Learn more about him athttp://www.claytonimoo.com
or follow him @claytonimoo
(CNS Photo/ Nancy Phelan Wiechec)