Kara Faris


Kara Faris is the Center for Congregation’s director of resource grants and resource consulting, as well as a resource consultant to congregations. 

Contributions From Kara Faris

Youth Ministry
Curator Kara Faris
For The CRG Created For The CRG
Making Youth Ministry Matter

The purpose of youth ministry is to foster the personal development of faith, theology and relationships for young people ages 6th-12th grades. This usually happens through a variety of lessons, games, resources and relationships. But how do you know if your youth group is hitting the mark?

The Center for Congregations has worked with more than 60 congregations to create vibrant youth ministries. Here’s what we discovered about the most successful congregations.

Effective Youth Ministries
• Devote financial and human resources as a priority to nurture young people.
• Equip youth to use their faith as a lens for making life plans and decision-making.
• Incorporate young people into congregational leadership and the planning process.

These larger goals will likely take time and decisions from your leadership. Below are small ways to strengthen your youth ministry.

Small Changes, Big Impact
You can make subtle changes to integrate youth into the fabric of your congregation. Recruit adult volunteers to connect with the youth and build intergenerational relationships. Allow the youth to step into meaningful and appropriate roles of responsibility. That could be mowing the lawn, assisting in worship or serving in the nursery. Small changes over time will help youth ministry become a natural part of your culture.

Looking for more youth ministry ideas? Take a look at Mark DeVries’ book Sustainable Youth Ministry or Kara Powell’s Sticky Faith.

PURE Ministries
This organization provides conferences and speakers for congregations to learn about the importance of welcoming people with disabilities into their congregational families.
Special Touch Ministry, Inc.
This congregation has a wide variety of resources, including retreats, conferences, and consulting, for providing faith-based support for people with disabilities.
Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families and Congregations
This resource helps support congregations in their quest towards becoming places of welcome and belonging for people with disabilities.
Friendship Ministries
This organization provides resources and evangelism training to reach individuals who have intellectual disabilities.
web resource
The Inclusive Church: Helping Churches Successfully Include Children with Special Needs
This blog is for congregational leaders desiring resources for special needs inclusion, such as conferences, articles, Ideas and Best Practices .
Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus
This book challenges congregations to move away from fast-pace consumerism and focus on living in Christian community.
Fundraising Guide
This guide aids congregational leaders with fundraising planning, such as deciding whether to begin a capital campaign, how to engage community funders, and information on hiring professional fundraisers.
Fresh Expressions
This organization helps local faith leaders create new kinds of church and meet modern people where they are.
The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place
This book takes readers beyond the what, where, and when of technology to outline a better lifestyle for your family.
web resource
Crowdfunding 101: How to Run a Successful Campaign, from Prep through Appreciation!
This hour-long recorded webinar provides an overview of crowdfunding with step-by-step directions to take advantage of this online fundraising technique.
4D Impact: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church
This book has four principles to develop healthy and growing churches: technology, hospitality, worship, and systems.
Guide for Christian Funerals During COVID-19
Prompted by COVID-19 health concerns, this ecumenical funeral guide shares logistical details and pastoral considerations for funerals.
Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA)
ASCA is a national support group for adult survivors of physical, sexual, and emotional child abuse which supports survivors through self-help programs and resources.
Eight Steps for Selecting Fundraising Counsel
This succinct and practical article outlines an eight-step process for choosing fundraising counsel.
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