Youth ministry is concerned with helping young men and women commitment themselves to Jesus Christ as His disciples and witnesses. To do this we need to first make sure they know Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Young people, like everyone else, must know that out of His great love for us, God became Man, dwelt among us, suffered, died and rose for us and for our salvation.
So first, it is important that those of us who minister to young people—whether as parents, clergy or youth ministers—are ourselves disciples of Christ. I can’t minster to young people unless I have committed my life to Jesus Christ and shape my life around His Person and teaching. Forming people as disciples and witness of Christ this is the reason behind the ascetical and liturgical life of the Church. So, we’ll begin with looking briefly at the role of prayer and asceticism in the life of the Orthodox Christian.
St Anthony the Great says that if we want to know God, we must first know ourselves. Self-knowledge is the foundation of our relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As spiritual mentors for young people, we need to help them grow in self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-expression. This work is a ministry of the Church and must be guided by Holy Tradition. We take the Tradition as our guide because we want to help young people know, accept and express themselves in Christ so that they can live for Christ as His disciples and witnesses.