Storytelling and Youth
There is an old expression about faith: “Faith is more caught than taught.” And fewer things “catch” people’s attentions, empathic feelings, and imaginations better than stories.
As we listen to young people, how good are we at receiving their stories, and interweaving them with stories of faith, so that they can feel a sense of interconnectedness?
In March of 2023, YMI was pleased to host a gathering with Mark Yaconelli, who spoke to those gathered about telling stories, and deep listening practices with youth. The following videos and accompanying questions have been compiled into a resource, which we hope will be helpful to you in your journey of reimagining your youth ministry. Click on the links below to watch the videos.
Part I: Approaching Listening
Reflective question: How do we do in our relationships with young people? How do we show curiosity about them?
Reflective questions: How do we experience sacred presence, and how do we pass that ever-deepening attunement along to young people? How do we stay connected to God in the midst of this work?
Reflective questions: What does it feel like to be listened to well? And how did Jesus do this for his followers?
Reflective questions: How can we help youth access the spiritual presence that is already within them? And what are the possible fruits that can be gleaned from these efforts?
Reflective question: How do we model the Holy Spirit “paraclete” in our time with young people?
Reflective questions: How do we help our youth live the full lives that God wishes for them? And, how are we doing at modeling this?
Reflective questions: If we could rate our youth group, how are we doing in the connect/disconnect conversation? What are we doing to address it?
Reflective questions: How often do our youth get stuck in despair? How might we model something different for our youth?
Part II: Exercises for Your Youth Group
Reflective question: How can we be thoughtful about how to set up our room, so as to open up even greater possibility for the Spirit to work?
Reflective questions: What is sacred for your youth? Are you surprised by the answer?
Reflective question: How do we let youth teach us a lesson about presence?
Reflective question: What are good questions we can ask to help youth group grow ever deeper in trust and in mutual connections?