A Day In Our Life
One of the benefits of being on a Discipleship Team is having more day-to-day consistency than NET Retreat Teams. However, on NET Team 11, it might be truer to say that we have week-to-week consistency, as each day of the week has a particular “flavor” that distinguishes it from the others. But if I had to pick one day to give a glimpse of what life on NET Team 11 is like, it would have to be Wednesday.
Wednesday starts off like most other days with personal prayer at our host homes. Around 7:45am we pile into our Dodge Charger and Toyota Sienna and head to daily Mass. On Wednesday, we go to Holy Family Catholic Church, which the students of Holy Trinity Catholic School attend. After Mass, we are blessed to be able to stay inside the church and do Team Prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We have experienced so much growth in Team Prayer. We began the year on more of the “chill” side of the praise and worship spectrum, as our Music Leader put it, but thanks to some honest communication and plenty of grace, we’re learning to enter in together and really praise God as a team.
After we finish Team Prayer, we get down to the less exciting (but no less important) part of ministry: prep. Most mornings between 10am and 12pm, we take some time for Ministry Prep, getting ready for bible studies, leading discipleship groups, meeting 1-on-1 with youth, and the like. We also use this time to fulfill our different roles on the team. If we are all caught up on what we need to accomplish for our own roles, we might help other teammates with theirs (hence why I, the Stats/Facilities guy, am writing a blog post, typically a Marketing role).
At 12pm each day, we have an hour for lunch. For a while, each of us would do our own thing for lunch; a couple teammates might sit and eat together, while others would go off and eat in solitude. Towards the end of the first semester, we made an effort to intentionally spend this time together as a team. We have continued to do this in the second semester. It has been delightful, and I think we’re seeing it bear fruit for team life generally.
Later in the afternoon, we have Relational Ministry (RM). This is the bread and butter of Discipleship Team ministry: we get together with the youth and young adults that we’ve met at Mass, ministry events, school lunches, etc., and get to know them in a more personal setting. The main goal being helping them go deeper in their faith. Some of our favorite things to do include hanging out at a cafe or restaurant, like McAlister’s or Midwest Cafe (a local favorite), doing Scripture studies, and, weather permitting, playing Pickleball.
After RM, we eat dinner, and then we clean the youth house to get ready for Youth Night. We finish cleaning by 7pm, but before Youth Night begins at 8:30pm, we have one more item on the schedule: High School Religious Ed. The team splits up and helps out at all the different parishes we minister at. We help however we’re needed, whether that be facilitating small group discussion, leading activities, or just talking and mingling with the youth. Helping out with Religious Ed has been a great opportunity to meet more youth, as well as just another chance to see the youth we’ve already been getting to know.
That brings us to Youth Night, perhaps the peak of every Wednesday. A pair of Netters leads each Youth Night. The structure for a typical Youth Night is pretty straightforward: game/activity, video/testimony/other-form-of-faith-formation, small group discussion. We believe that incorporating small groups has been invaluable to cultivating relationships, not just between us and the youth, but among the youth themselves. While the hours leading up to Youth Night can get us all a little anxious from time to time, getting to interact with the youth in that environment is always rewarding and worthwhile.
I hope this gives you a little taste of what daily life for NET Team 11 is like. Through the highs and lows we’ve experienced during our time in Jasper, God has been with us in all of them. He is truly the one at work, and we are very grateful to be able to be a part of what He’s doing.
I’m an 80 yr. old retired teacher who is very grateful for what you all do. My young friend, Aislinn, has applied to become a member of your ministry, so I’ll be putting NET on my daily prayer list. Deo Gratias Len Young