Duluth Churches Work to Get Youth Involved in Ministry

They say relationship building is key to connecting with people who need help

DULUTH, Minn. – Local churches say the key to getting young people involved in ministry is helping them feel needed and appreciated.

Church leaders tell us every kid is concerned about a friend. They know they want to help but many don’t know how to begin.

“If I ask kids how many of you are talking to someone about suicide, it’s shocking,” said Lyle Griner, National Director of Peer Ministry Leadership. “Most kids, even young kids, say I’ve been having this.”

Griner travels around the country talking with churches about how to better serve kids.

“Wherever I go, one of the first things people say is ‘you don’t understand, our kids are so busy.’ And they are, they’re stressed out, but busyness also equals emptiness sometimes and there’s this big hole in kids,” said Griner.

Thursday’s meeting at Elim Lutheran Church in West Duluth was a chance for youth ministers and other leaders to work together planning yearly activities.

“It’s a great way to network with people,” said Nathan Holst, Faith Formation Minister for Duluth’s Peace United Church of Christ.

Holst organizes retreats and service opportunities. He says building relationships is the key to connecting with people of all ages who need help.

“It’s really about creating a space where kids want to come because their friends are there or the adults want to come because their friends are there,” said Holst.

Faith organizers tell us churches are a great place for kids to learn caring and listening skills because they can easily interact with people outside their age group.

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