WF YM: Plan Ritualized Time Together

This sounds like an awful idea. Ritual is a word many youth workers over the last 60 years have run from. Yet it is one of those special comforting things we can offer youth.

In a non-youth ministry book was this letter from a then 20 year old: “In the last six years I have come to feel strongly that parents need to spend one to one time with their teenagers. Ritualized time together, however long or short, allows trust to build in a healthy, deliberate manner. The ritual time I shared with my father (every night at bedtime until age 13, then ice cream out once a week) helped me connect with him as a respectful adult and parent, who, through it all, was there for me regardless of whether I felt like sharing my problems.” (Putting Family First, p. 79)

Ritualized time together is necessary for teens to survive through adolescence. When looking at youth ministry overall, we are built on ritualized times together. Our schedules are built on it. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with schedules and programs. We sweat over the creativity of these times together so they are somewhat memorable.


Sometimes we devalue Sunday School as not important when in reality this is truly ritualized time together. The times we teach from the Bible (again, why they are scheduling church into their busy schedules) and the relational bonuses of these ritualized times together are youth ministry.

We need to value our ritualized times we have with our youth.