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The Children and Youth Program is Not Just About Goal Setting

The Children and Youth Program is Not Just About Goal Setting

If someone were to ask you what the Children and Youth Program is about, what would you say?

If you think it is strictly about goal setting, believe it or not, you are missing the mark.

Brad Wilcox, a member of the Young Men General Presidency, said, “We’re learning personal revelation and we’re learning to exercise faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what the program is about. … It’s becoming more like Jesus Christ in every aspect of life.”

The Children and Youth Program is built upon 3 pillars:

  1. Service and Activities
  2. Gospel Learning
  3. Personal Development

children and youth program

“More than learning how to set goals, the personal development aspect of the Children and Youth program is about learning to seek and recognize personal revelation,” Brother Wilcox said.

Instead of having a manual or booklet tell children and youth what to do, “we want them to look at God and say, ‘What do You want me to do?’”

The Children and Youth Program is home-centered, church supported. To learn more about what the young men and young women general presidencies shared about this program, click here.

Home Centered, Church Supported

I want to share a pretty poignant experience I had that woke me up as a parent to my responsibilities when it comes to this incredible program.

This is what happened.

I had a few kids in the youth program and I would frequently ask them what they were doing for their youth activities that week. Often my boys would tell me they were playing basketball or some other activity that I felt wasn’t the best use of their time, and in my mind I was a little frustrated because I felt they should be doing more meaningful activities, like service.

On one occasion when I was having these thoughts, a little voice in my mind said, “Ben, it’s not the church’s responsibility to teach your kids to serve, it is yours!”

Oof. That hit me to the core.

The Spirit was right, though. My wife and I are responsible for teaching our children to serve – and to an extent we did that. We would often take the kids to go visits older neighbors, and we would pick up the trash at the park every now and then.

The one thing we weren’t was INTENTIONAL.

The Children and Youth Program gave us a chance to be more intentional about teaching our kids the importance of service and helping them become more like the Savior.

The Children and Youth Program

The Children and Youth Program is built upon 3 pillars:

  1. Service and Activities
  2. Gospel Learning
  3. Personal Development

Under the pillar of service and activities, there are some great resources that are provided, one of which is JustServe.org. This website, which also has an app, lists different service opportunities in your area and allows you to volunteer as an individual, family, or even a church group.

My wife and I decided that we would use this tool in conjunction with the pillar of Service and Activities in the Children and Youth Program to help our children rise up and become better leaders.

Every other month we have one of our children be the team leader of a service project. They help decide which service project to do, they gather all of the information, they register our family and contact the organizers, and when the day arrives for the service project they make sure we are checked in and know what we should be doing.

children and youth program service leader Asia

Asia was the team leader of our service project that took place in the Springville Kiwanis Club. We sorted out food donations on various tables and then put together boxes of food for those in need. It was an absolute blast and our kids love having the opportunity to lead and serve in these Just Serve projects. Have you or your family members made use of the Just Serve app in conjunction with the Children and Youth Program? If so, we would love to know how you go about it. Reply to this email and let us know!

children and youth program

If you haven’t yet been as intentional about service with your families, we hope that explaining how we have incorporated it into our family will give you some ideas that you can implement.