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What is The Relationship Project?
Our young people today are facing difficult questions and situations in their lives, challenged by what society encourages as they face conflicting ideologies from peers, their schools, and the media. There is a disconnect between those con icting ideologies and what the Church teaches as truth.
Faithtree believes that the questions our teens are asking cannot be addressed by a ten-minute sermon or by simple statements about what the Church does and does not support. They require deeper discussion, exploration, reflection, and explanation. And this process must take place in the context of deep and meaningful relationships between teens and their spiritual leaders and peers.
At the end of the day, it is all about relationships. It is in and through relationships that we grow closer to our Lord and Creator. It is in and through relationships that we learn who we are and who we were created to be. And it is in and through relationships with teens that we can effectively teach them.
Through this program, you can:
• Connect the teens in your parish to rich theological content in a language they can understand and in a format they connect with
• Offer your teens a space where they can feel comfortable to bring their questions and struggles
• Facilitate the building of real community resulting in a support system of peers, mentors, and spiritual leaders
As we have beta tested this material in many different youth ministry settings, we have been amazed to watch teenagers open up, ask profound questions, nd true peace in the truth, develop real relationships with peers and leaders, and grow deeply connected to the Church. It is amazing how when we simply open up a space to teenagers where they can come as they are and bring all of their questions and struggles, they are open to learning and want to keep coming back. Teens are yearning for truth and faith. When we embrace them, listen to them, love them, laugh with them, encourage them, and then teach them in this context, they feel a part of Christ’s Church and are open to receiving it.
It is within this context that our teens will desire to learn about and grow close to Christ and His Church and will prepare to go out into the world grounded in truth and love.
Above all, it is the aim of youth ministry to establish and strengthen the connection between our teens and Christ. We think we have found a pretty cool formula in which to do that.
Who is The Relationship Project for?
You’re a clergyman, lay leader, youth worker or parent who is struggling to get the youth of the parish involved and engaged in the life of the Church. The product is presented in a fresh, culturally competent way. Beta-tests we’ve run throughout the country confirm what our team suspected: invite teens in the right way, and they’ll show up. Engage them in the right conversations and they’ll stay. Embrace them with love and create a space for them to wrestle with all things teen-related, and they’ll keep coming back. By the grace of God, somewhere in there, transformation happens. Relationships happen.
You passionately want to provide the Church’s teachings, but truthfully, you don’t know how to begin the hard conversations and have the hard discussions about all that faces our kids these days. The Relationship Project is somewhat extraordinary because it tackles all the big topics facing our teens today. In the first two episodes released today, we cover issues of identity and intimacy setting the stage for the episodes to come on loneliness, physical desire and attraction, marriage, and in light of all that, dating. Our team has referred to it as the Masters Degree in Relationship for youth. And the cool part is, our team has done ALL the heavy lifting for you. Faithtree enlisted over 20 clergy, therapists, counselor, theologians, youth workers and parents to articulate the theology for you. Then we created a killer film series that is aesthetically beautiful and according to our teens, “not lame”. (Phew.) All you have to do is press play and read the words written in your Facilitator Guide. We got the rest.
You’re a parent, priest or parishioner who wants to engage the teens in your church but you have limited resources, support, and even, know-how. This part makes me super happy. As a former youth worker for over two decades, I know how isolated I felt sometimes in youth ministry. I know how hard limited funds, limited volunteers, and even, limited time when kids weren’t at soccer- made it feel to do the job in a way that glorified God. The Relationship Project helps to fix that. We have brought on a staff member to the Faithtree Team, to help solely with the needs of our churches that purchase this product. In doing this, we essentially give you a direct connection to a youth worker, with a degree in ministry and a Masters of Divinity, who will hold your hand through all of it. No more isolation.
What are people saying about the Relationship Project?
This is a coordinated pan-Orthodox teaching. Essential Apologetics of our time. A positive message in support of living an Orthodox Christian life is found in Faithtree Resources. - The Very Reverend Dr. Chad Hatfield, President, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary
Faithtree Resources, looking to meet the needs of our faithful, has produced content that gives such insight. Relationships-with peers, family, church community and others—are the context for identity formation. Thank you Faithtree, for this valuable and high-quality program. - Carole Buleza, M.A., Director of the Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education
It is fantastic to see the Church take on the tough issues in our world today. We know the answer is Christ, but this program gets through in a way that brings our kids closer to Christ and the Church and arms them with reasons they can understand. This series is a Don’t-Miss for both adults and their kids. As parents, we need the tools to help our kids forge through as strong Christians. This program not only gives both of us the tools, it does it in such an effective way that there is real buy in. - Cindy Karos
Great content! I’m amazed it’s being given away for free. I would recommend it to anyone. - Liz Gray
This video series has helped me enormously. Our youth ministry team is actively implementing your strategies and suggestions for engaging our teens. Thank you Faithtree Resources! - Robin El Habr
The real work of youth ministry takes place in the context of relationships. It is through deep and real relationships that our teens experience the transformative love of Christ. Ask any youth worker and they’ll tell you, it can be hard to get through to our teens to build meaningful relationships. That’s why we’ve created a collection of tips to better equip you!