I like to highlight the four areas of formation as one of the fundamental components of a Discipleship focused youth ministry model because there really isn’t document (yet!) that talks about the four areas in relation to youth ministry.
The four areas are used in seminarian formation and in lay ecclesial formation and the documents that speak about the Four Areas can be easily adopted in to youth ministry as well. Check out the Four Areas below for a brief introduction to them.
Human formation seeks to build qualities critical to form wholesome relationships. Human formation is necessary in becoming apt instruments of God’s love and compassion.
Intellectual formation seeks to build adequate knowledge in theological and pastoral studies, along with the intellectual skill to use that knowledge among the people and cultures of our country.
Spiritual formation seeks to form a spirituality and practice of prayer that roots the youth in God’s Trinitarian life, grounding and animating all that they do.
Pastoral formation seeks to form the youth in the pastoral abilities called for in their role as a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
How to Use the Four Areas of Formation?
You can imagine our Lord desires to mold and fashion the best version of each youth you are working with. The four areas of formation are the areas that the Lord is desiring to form them in. The four areas provide a more holistic approach in helping to form a young disciple as a whole person. In short, if we are to reach the goals of youth ministry, it will be done through formation in these four areas. That being said, in DFYM the four areas are used as one of the primary starting points for deciding what to do in the discipleship groups. A disciple leader’s role is to observe a youth in these four areas and to create a plan to further growth in them.