What is a Parish Team?
For years parishes and NET have pondered the question, “What would happen if a NET team stayed in a parish for an entire school year?”
In response to this question NET launched a Parish Team program in 2005. The program provides a parish with 6-8 young adults who have gone through NET’s five week training program. These young men and women come prepared to engage the youth in the local community in a relationship with Jesus Christ through evangelization and discipleship.
It is not NET’s purpose to replace or substitute and active youth ministry program in a parish, but rather, to augment and enliven youth ministry programs that are executed by parish staff and volunteers.
- Volunteering and participating in different clubs, sports teams and other areas in order to build relationships with teens;
- Organizing occasional evangelistic events aimed at attracting inactive youth;
- Attending weekly faith formation classes and youth ministry events and assisting with occasional program elements;
- Attending weekend Masses with a particular emphasis on meeting new youth;
- Meeting youth before and after school and during lunch as permitted;
- Launching evangelistic small groups of varying focuses;
- Arranging evangelistic 1-on-1’s at various locations in the community to meet with youth within the parameters of the program;
- Attending various community and school events in an effort to meet new youth.
- Launch Discipleship Training (DT) groups aimed at forming teens into true disciples for Christ (we currently use the YDisciple Program);
- Arrange Discipleship-focused 1-on-1’s with the goal of mentoring youth and leading them into a deeper and stronger relationship with Jesus Christ;
- Both DT groups and Discipleship-focused 1-on-1’s strive to form the youth in the 4 area of formation: Human, Spiritual, Pastoral and Intellectual.
- Helping to identify, recruit, and invite those youth and adults that could potentially serve as members of a CORE ministry team;
- Assisting with the Youth Minister led training of CORE team members (i.e. leading small groups, encouraging CORE members);
- Involving and mentoring CORE ministry team members in the team’s ministry (i.e. co-leading a DT group or small group with a CORE member, attending a community event and evangelizing with a CORE member).
How It Works
Currently, a typical commitment from a parish is three years (this can be negotiable). Each year, the parish will receive a team of 6-8 trained young adults that will serve from the middle of September to May. The Parish Team will work to build bridges between youth and the local church, and they will function as leaven in the youth culture of a community.
Year 1: Focus on evangelization first and discipleship second.
- The team will reach out to the youth of the parish community in order to introduce them to Christ;
- There will be a particular focus on reaching out to and engaging those youth who are marginally involved or inactive all together;
- As the team works to draw teens into the Church community, they will look for those youth who are faithful, invested, and teachable. The team will then work to provide discipleship opportunities for these young people.
Year 2: More purposefully focus on discipleship while still focusing on evangelization.
- Discipleship opportunities will be provided for those youth that are ready to go deeper;
- Evangelizing to inactive youth will continue;
- The Parish Team will also work closely with the youth minister to help identify those youth and adults that may be able to be part of a CORE ministry team;
- If the Youth Minister desires, the team can also begin to assist with the training of a CORE ministry team.
Year 3: A mix of evangelization, discipleship and training as the Parish NET Team prepares to hand their ministry over to the parish.
- The team will continue to look for opportunities to evangelize and disciple the youth of the local community;
- They will assist the Youth Minister with the training of a CORE ministry team;
- The team will provide opportunities for CORE volunteers to evangelize and disciple right alongside the NET team members;
- In this way, the work of the Parish Team will continue even after the team exits a community.
- November: NET will stop accepting Parish Team Applications for the upcoming school year
- November – January: NET will visit prospective parishes
- March: NET will contact parishes regarding decisions for the following year
- Mid-September – Mid-May: NET Parish Teams will serve in parish