IGNITE Ministry Tips offered by Michael Thien Hoang, C.Ss.R. at St. Michael’s in Chicago

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What does success look like in young adult ministry? There are no guidelines, or even a DIY YouTube video to measure success. However, I’d like to share what seems to be working for me at St. Michael’s in Chicago.

Connection is crucial to young adults. Communication is key. Young adults live online and are extremely busy in a rather transient part of their lives. When I started the NextGen young adult group back in September of 2023, I made sure to establish several points of contact, aside from a personal presence. Of course, we utilized the typical means, i.e., pulpit announcements and the bulletin, but also, a consistent social media presence, both on Facebook and Instagram, website updates, email blasts tailored for the young adults of the parish, and GroupMe.

Like WhatsApp, GroupMe is an app that provides a way for young adults to chat with the whole NextGen group, a way to DM particular members and me – all without needing to have each other’s cell phone numbers. GroupMe also has a calendar feature, which allows me to keep the young adults up to date on planned NextGen events months in advance. They can use GroupMe to mark “I’m going!” or “undecided” or “Not going” to an event, triggering a dynamic of community with a single tap of their finger.

GroupMe can be accessed through a web browser, so for those not comfortable using cell phone apps – never fear! GroupMe has provided St. Mike’s NextGen young adults with a method to build group cohesiveness and instantly share information. I consider it an invaluable tool to build that connection young adults desire and deserve.

By no means do I consider myself a success; I am simply sharing something I’ve learned within the short time I’ve accompanied young adults. May our successes and failures within ministry grant us and others grace in our continued journey toward Christ the Redeemer.

(Source: www.facebook.com/RedemptoristNorthAmerica)