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This article is part of The Building Blocks of Faith Toolkit—a collection of resources for strengthening faith formation in your congregation and at home, brought to you by Faith Formation Ministries.


The Building Blocks of Faith describe four spiritual needs that are met in Christ:

  • the need to belong

  • the need to know and understand

  • the need to have hope

  • the need to be called and equipped

People of all ages have these needs, but they’re especially prevalent in teens, who wrestle with questions of belonging and identity every day. Here are some ideas for using the Building Blocks to help faith thrive through your church’s youth ministry.

Equip Your Youth Ministry Team 

Invite your youth ministry staff and volunteers to learn about the Building Blocks of Faith. One way to do this is to use The Building Blocks of Faith: Questions and Conversations with the leaders of your youth ministry.

You can incorporate a Building Blocks overview into your regular yearly training, invite one of Faith Formation Ministries’ regional catalyzers to introduce the Building Blocks to your team, or participate in one of FFM’s learning cohorts. We’re also working on creating an online learning module that teams and individuals can use.

However you introduce the Building Blocks of Faith, share how leaders can help youth belong, know and understand, have hope, and identify their calling. 

Ask Important Questions

These Building Blocks-based questions can shape your youth ministry planning.

  • How do youth experience belonging in our church?

  • How are youth coming to know God and God’s story?

  • How are youth experiencing the hope that is found in Christ?

  • Are youth learning how God is calling them and being equipped in that calling? What might we need to change so that youth have the opportunity to utilize their gifts and abilities? 

Other Ideas

  • Today's teens often feel anxious and discouraged. It may be time to start a conversation in your youth group about Christian hope. For background, read these two excellent articles from the Alban Institute: Hope Takes Hard Work and What Is “Responsible Hope”?

  • Use or adapt the Journal for Mentors of Youth developed by First CRC of Detroit, Michigan, to guide a Building Blocks-based mentoring relationship with a young person.

  • One high school youth group participated in a cooking class on the theme of belonging. Each young person in the group received a package with their name on it, all the food needed to make a meal for their family, the recipe, and a list of "66 Reasons God Loves You" as a reminder. Before they started cooking, there was a short meditation on belonging.

  • For great ideas about how your church can use the Building Blocks of Faith to launch college students well, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Lesli van Milligen's helpful blog post on this topic.

For conversations about ministry with youth and emerging adults, contact Ron deVries at [email protected].

Want to know more? We’ve gathered a wealth of resources in our free Building Blocks of Faith toolkit.

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