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Rebuilding Youth Ministry

by Christopher Wesley

Christopher Wesley, director of student ministry at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland—the Catholic parish at the center of the bestselling book Rebuilt—has doubled teen participation in his programs and tripled the number of adult volunteers who work with youth. In Rebuilding Youth Ministry, Wesley presents ten indispensable strategies for creating successful youth programs where teens feel connected, stay involved, and grow in faith.

In Rebuilding Youth Ministry, Christopher Wesley coaches fellow Catholic leaders on how to overcome common hurdles of ministering to young people. Wesley shares how he faced feelings of complacency, underestimated youth, and entertained rather than ministered in his own parish. Wesley built a distinctive program based on small group faith formation and sustained it with the assistance of more than sixty volunteer adult mentors. Adopting a tone and structure similar to the bestselling books Rebuilt and Tools for Rebuilding, Wesley lays out ten strategies that helped grow participation in his high school program from nine teens to ninety and the middle school program from forty teens to eighty-five. 

Features & Benefits 

  • Fans of Rebuilt and Tools for Rebuilding will find many of the same renewal strategies now tailored to the particular needs of youth programming.
  • Christopher Wesley offers an insider’s view of youth programming that comes from working for ten years as youth minister at Church of the Nativity. Under his leadership, the program has flourished and now boasts one adult volunteer per eight teens in faith formation programs.
  • This book explores the distinctive approach to youth faith formation at Church of the Nativity, where students meet in small groups that remain stable from sixth through twelfth grades.
  • Wesley is host of the weekly Rebuilt podcast, keeps an increasingly active speaking and writing schedule, and blogs regularly at Marathon Youth Ministry.

"When the local Church sets priorities, youth ministry nearly always rises to the top. But the solution we seem to land on generally results in a whirlwind of activities with no clear direction, offered in a dingy room, put on by someone who is too often burned out within a year and looking for ‘a real job.’ Youth ministry done this way is rarely taken seriously because, let's face it, it's rarely successful. Christopher Wesley offers refreshing clarity in the midst of this craziness. In a word, he offers great vision for a ministry the Church so often gets wrong, but really can't afford to." 
Chris Stefanick, Founder and president of Real Life Catholic

“What I love about Chris Wesley is that this book isn’t simply theory—he knows what he’s doing and he has shared his simple and practical tools to help us build a dynamic and more effective youth ministry for our churches. This book is a gift!”
Doug Fields, Author of Purpose Driven Youth Ministry

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