Supporting Catholic youth along their faith journey is essential. That’s why so many faithful, like you, are praying, teaching, and volunteering each day in a variety of capacities. It takes time and patience. Thank you for your beautiful example and witness to the faith. We aspire to have all youth stay close to God! One of NET Ministries’ primary goals is to reach Catholic youth who have become disengaged from the Church and provide an opportunity for these young people to ignite a strong relationship with Jesus. One they can truly call their own.
“But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far off have been brought close by the blood of Christ.” Eph. 2:13
In our society, how do teens prioritize all the messages they receive concerning what is important in their lives? How do we communicate simply the overlying message that Jesus Christ is the answer to all their contentment? And they don’t have to keep searching for approval, a sense of belonging, or self-worth – it’s all right there with God, and it has been all along.
“Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God.” Eph. 2:8
So, what more can we do to engage youth? And what exactly are young people themselves looking for that would help them embrace their Catholic faith into the future?
The Synod of Bishops in Rome recently gathered for a “Pre-Synodal Meeting of Young People” to address some poignant questions regarding Catholic faith today. Youth from across the world gathered both in person and online through Facebook groups. The Pre-Synodal Meeting Final Document on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” mentioned these powerful statements among many others:
“Ultimately, many of us strongly want to know Jesus, yet often struggle to realize that He alone is the source of true self-discovery, for it is in a relationship with Him that the human person ultimately comes to discover him or herself. Thus, we have found that young people want authentic witnesses – men and women who vibrantly express their faith and relationship with Jesus while encouraging other to approach, meet, and fall in love with Jesus themselves.”
“Young people are looking for companions on the journey, to be embraced by faithful men and women who express the truth and allow young people to articulate their understanding of faith and vocation.”
The document goes on to say these people are to be “living testimonies to witness” and “such a person should evangelize by their life.”
In response NET Ministries, part of the National Leadership Network, is engaged with the National Dialogue, a collaborative effort of Catholic leaders in the United States with the vision of “an energized and unified Church committed to forming and engaging youth and young adults as missionary disciples,” as stated on their website.
“The Church in America has an opportunity to do something amazing,” shared NET Ministries Founder and President, Mark Berchem. “Too often in the past those who serve young people have worked in their own silos. The National Leadership Network is bringing leaders together in a manner I have not seen in my 36 years with NET. It has been exciting to meet, share, and pray with so many young ministry leaders from across the country. By working more together and leveraging our combined strengths, we have an opportunity to facilitate a personal encounter with Christ for many of our young people.”
As a community of believers, we are called to help each other along life’s path. With your help, NET Ministries is answering this call by offering authentic witnesses to Catholic youth. Learn more here.
Since its inception in 1981, NET Ministries has proclaimed the Gospel to 2 MILLION CATHOLIC YOUTH in the United States.
Below are just a few inspiring NET team highlights, as examples of this witness, while serving across the nation proclaiming the Gospel to young Catholics.
“One of the best parts about pursuing a life of a missionary is being used as an instrument to help thousands of youth encounter Christ …” – NET Team 3
“My team and I have had the privilege of being instruments of God’s love to over 6,000 youth. We’ve given him a mere year of our lives and He’s done so much with it. He’s allowed us to be vessels of His love, and this love has done more than we could have imagined.” – NET Team 10
“Imagine how many retreatants are healed and connected to God in extreme and beautiful ways that we never see and will never know about. We need to have faith that God is doing incredible things all the time and we don’t always need to know.” – NET Team 14
To provide authentic witnesses to the faith through NET Ministries for Catholic youth today, donate here.
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21