New Youth Leaders
Archdioces of Milwaukee Print Logo  

New Youth Leaders



On behalf of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, welcome to the rewarding yet challenging field of Youth Evangelization! Whether you are brand new to youth ministry or a veteran starting a new position, we are so grateful that you have answered the call to proclaim Christ and make [young] disciples through the Sacramental life of the Church. As you get started, you likely have many hopes and dreams for your parish youth. You likely have even more questions! The Office of Youth Evangelization is here to support you, equip you, and connect you for the awesome task of youth evangelization. Below you will find a couple great resources to help you get started in your ministry. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you have as you get going. We are praying for you! 

In Christ,

Doug Ulaszek

Associate Director of Evangelization & Catechesis | Middle & High School Youth


New Youth Leader?

We'd love to connect with you! Email us to set up a time for lunch or coffee on us!

Essentials for Catechetical Ministry

Each year the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis offers a training series to help new parish leaders get acclimated to the Archdiocese and their work. If you have been in your position less than 3 years, we'd love to have you join us! Learn more here. (Did we mention there's lunch included?)

The next cohort for Essentials will begin in Fall 2022. If you are new or need help before then, we are happy to schedule 1:1 onboarding with you! Email us to schedule

Your First 90 Days

5 Priorities to set your ministry up for success

Download this guide as a PDF

1. Pray

Apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5). Our work belongs to the Lord - we are only instruments that He uses to make His love known. Effective youth leaders regularly spend time at the feet of their Master; that prayer then overflows into their work.


30 Day Goal

In your first 30 days, evaluate your prayer life and make changes where needed. For those engaged in professional ministry, a minimum of 30 minutes of prayer per day is essential.


60 Day Goal 

In your first 60 days, make a plan for how you will pray intentionally for your teens and your ministry. In the Office of Youth Evangelization, we commit to a Holy Hour every week in front of the Blessed Sacrament to intercede for youth leaders, teens, and families throughout the Archdiocese.


90 Day Goal

In your first 90 days, find 2 to 3 people to be your "spiritual benefactors." Ask them to intercede daily for you and your work through their prayers and sacrifices. Be sure to share about the fruit of your ministry from time to time in return!

2. Understand

Every parish, every ministry, and every community has a story. If we do not take time to understand how things have worked before, we will not be able to serve or guide needed change. Effective youth leaders understand the realities of where they serve before evaluating and making changes.


30 Day Goal 

In your first 30 days, learn everything you can about the current and past efforts of youth evangelization at your parish. Take leaders out for coffee, look at old files, and read old bulletins to learn the history you are inheriting.


60 Day Goal 

In your first 60 days, learn everything you can about your parish, its mission, and its leaders. Youth evangelization functions as part of a whole, and you want to make sure you are aligned with the wider parish community.


90 Day Goal 

In your first 90 days, learn everything you can about the community your parish serves - everything from the schools to the people, to the big summer festival. Become an expert in your town!

3. Connect

Leading others to Christ is about relationships. If we do not spend time nurturing them, those we serve will not follow us. Effective youth leaders invest in relationships and cultivate love for those they serve.


30 Day Goal 

In your first 30 days, take each of your adult volunteers out for coffee or lunch and get to know them, their hopes and dreams, and what they think of the youth ministry. Ask what could be better and ask if they will help you for another year.

60 Day Goal

In your first 60 days, have coffee or lunch with 5 other parish youth leaders in your area. Get to know them, ask them what they've learned in this work, and what their struggles are. This will help you build a support network of fellow youth leaders to lean on and learn from.

90 Day Goal

In your first 90 days, host a parent meeting for all your parish families. Serve some food, introduce yourself, and share your passion for working with young people. Ask how you can pray for them (then bring those needs to prayer!)


Join the ThrivePro Community for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee! 

4. Grow

Grace builds on nature. The more we develop good ministry and leadership skills, the better God's grace will flow through us. Effective youth leaders build good work habits and continuously learn new things.


30 Day Goal

In your first 30 days, build daily and weekly rhythms to accomplish baseline tasks. Be sure to include time for prayer, learning/development, and building relationships with teens and adults.

60 Day Goal

In your first 60 days, make a list of Catholic blogs, podcasts, and websites to check regularly for inspiration and ideas. Add time each week to check them or set up a RSS feed to auto-populate new content.

90 Day Goal

In your first 90 days, build the habit of continuous growth by reading 3 books or documents from The Youth Evangelist Booklist and write down how they could impact how you evangelize youth.


More Help

5. Small Moves

Unless specifically tasked to do so, wait a year to start making major changes. This frees you up to continue focusing on relationships and building trust in your parish. Effective youth leaders bring people with them through change by casting vision and starting with "Why."


30 Day Goal

In your first 30 days, take stock of the coming year. Are there things that need to be changed immediately (safety issues, Cathiolic identity issues, etc.)? If they are not immediate needs, consider putting off major changes (curriculum shifts, major budget expenses, changing the time you meet) until you have a solid vision and relationships in place.

60 Day Goal

In your first 60 days, make a timeline for the next 6-9 months. Are there small changes you can make that will have a big impact? Pick a few and start implementing (add Adoration, add food, etc.)

90 Day Goal

In your first 90 days, start dreaming about your youth ministry. What are God's dreams? Dream big, write down specifics, and start sharing your vision with others. 

Day 91

Congratulations! You've made it through your first 90 days. If you accomplished the goals above, you should have a solid foundation for your ministry. At this point, do the following:


If you did not accomplish all the goals above

Reaffirm your commitment and continue working towards them. 


If you completed all the goals above

Set new goals in each area for the next 90 days and keep at it! 


Be sure to check out our Youth Leader Events and Youth Leader Toolbox for more resources and opportunities to support you in your work!

Stay Connected

Meg Aspinwall
Associate Director Evangelization & Catechesis | Middle & High School

This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408