How We Started
Several years ago, Everett Fritz had developed one of the largest youth groups in his diocese. He noticed that the vast majority of the teens participating within his youth group were not continuing to practice their faith in college. He became convinced that the current method of youth ministry employed in the Church was becoming ineffective.
Everett began to experiment In the Archdiocese of Denver with a small group mentoring approach for youth ministry. He setup ministries in three different parishes with varying demographics. After five years of research and observation, Everett observed an increase in the number of teens engaged in small groups, a strong retention of youth all the way through senior year of high school, young people demonstrating maturity in catechesis and prayer. Parents also became more engaged in the process when the small group mentors were trained to actively engage parents within the process of discipling their own teenager.
In 2015, Everett left his role in content development with the Augustine Institute/YDisciple so that he could pursue the mission of coaching parishes full-time. Everett currently lives as a missionary in the Church and is pursuing the development of a missionary program that would place more mentors into parishes and the lives of families with teenagers.
I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.- Pope Francis