Life Teen turned 30 a week ago. An April 28 webinar briefly highlighted its origins and looked “back to the future” sharing its latest efforts of “leading teens closer to Christ.”
The changes are a result of decades of experience, fruitful discernment and youth leader feedback. They include a revamped website, expanded ways to access resources, a new logo plus more intentional outreach to parishes serving Hispanic teenagers and alumni of youth programs.
“We’re an extension of the staff at your parish and we’re here to serve you,” Christina Mead, assistant director of resource development reassured viewers. “We aren’t just going to be resting on the laurels of what we’ve done in the last 30 years. We’re asking the Holy Spirit what he wants us to do next.”
Life Teen is renewing its commitment to be a resource for every kind of parish and youth ministry model. With that comes the next generation of “Life Support” boxes.
Youth leaders can now access downloadable video support, monthly digital downloads for “issue nights” and “social nights” that reflect topics and interests teens care about, lectionary-based discipleship studies that allow small groups to preview or review the Sunday readings and live chat capabilities with Life Teen staff.
The traditional “Life Support” boxes will switch to a series-based model. Each box will feature two series that can stretch several youth group meetings on what teens have been asking about or leaders have been asking for, according to Mark Hart, executive vice president of content and identity for Life Teen. A digital media platform will be built right around it.
“Teenagers have changed. The world of youth ministry has changed and Life Teen has stayed right with it,” said Randy Raus, Life Teen’s president and chief executive officer.
Priests and youth leaders who attend the Life Teen’s Catholic Youth Ministry Convention in Scottsdale in June will get a better look at Life Teen’s new format and resources. Life Teen traces its roots as a ministry model to St. Timothy Parish in Mesa.
Recognizing that college freshmen and sophomores are still “teens,” the “college life” resources will now be included for all Life Teen parishes. It will allow youth leaders to hand on resources via email, videos and other media to alumni of the youth ministry program.
Facets of Life Teen’s curriculum will be translated into Spanish and give ideas on how to “inculturate certain activities of the night to our Spanish-speaking communities,” Hart said. “As the Spanish Church continues to grow, we want go grow with you, equip you, resource you.”
The idea is to help multicultural parishes reach out to parents and catechists.