All church ministries are oriented toward fostering missionary discipleship. Youth ministry focuses this mission on young people. In this new book in the Collegeville Ministry series, Jeffrey Kaster explores leadership for youth ministry, Christian discipleship, conversion, the theological foundations for youth ministry, the importance of community and belonging, and vocational discernment. Kaster looks at the practice of vocational discernment and how it encourages youth ministry to continually help young people discern their gifts, connect them in service to meet the world's deep needs, and foster Christian discipleship. Youth ministry at its best mobilizes the faith community to support young people as they learn to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Jeffrey Kaster, EdD, is the director of Youth in Theology and Ministry program for Saint John's University School of Theology and Seminary, and an adjunct professor of theology at Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict. He also serves as the coordinator of Lilly Youth Theology Network. Jeff completed an MA in Scripture from Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary in 1984 and a Doctorate of Education from the University of Minnesota in 2008.
Jeff Kaster's Youth Ministry is a wonderful little book that insightfully addresses the larger issues of teen discipleship. Combining old treasures and new perspectives, this work is clear, readable, and thought-provoking. Jeff has not only given us a valuable resource for reaching the young church, but he gets right to the point-drilling deeply into the foundations for building a missionary disciple-making youth ministry. I enthusiastically recommend this book.
Frank Mercadante, Executive Director, Cultivation Ministries
Remarkably honest, blending actual comments from young people, quality research, theory, and theology shared by youth ministers doing it in real time along with the life's work of an acclaimed veteran. Required reading.
Dr. Mike Carotta, Teaching For Discipleship
"Youth Ministry Is Not Easy" . . .so Jeff Kaster's preface states! But this resource is for all those called to help young people and their families experience Mystery, connect with the faith community, and live out Pope Francis' call to missionary discipleship. Kaster and his colleagues use real stories to blend the theological underpinnings for youth ministry with the practicals of genuine communal accompaniment, effective pastoral leadership, vocational discernment, and Christian discipleship. Youth ministry is not easy . . . but Kaster's resource reminds pastoral leaders of the joy in walking with young disciples, finding the blessings in the journey.
Robert J. McCarty, D.Min., Executive Director, National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry