There are a number of resources avaliable at Synod Office to assist ministries with children and young people; including books, DVDs and curricula. They are listed below (along with a short summary / review of what they contain and a link to further information) and are available for free loan to any children and youth ministry within the Diocese of New Westminster.

The Diocese on Pinterest has lots of links to resources for children, youth, and families. As well, it has resources for the seasons of the church year: Advent, Christmas/Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost.

Children's Ministry


A Montessori based Christian formation program for children. Godly Play nurtures children in a rich religious language, storytelling, and playful creative responses to the stories of the bible and liturgical action. Adults often love this curriculum as much as children do. The diocese offers support to parishes building a Godly Play program. If you'd like to see a live demonstration of the stories and learn more, contact the Missioner for Christian Formation. You can also watch a number of Godly play stories by experienced storytellers on their Youtube channel.

Weekly lesson plans developed by a Canadian Anglican educator. It’s free, current, and lectionary based. Follows a format of worship, story, craft/activity response and closing prayer. The link will take you straight to this year’s lesson plans:

Free and online, with different lesson plans for age groups. It isn’t lectionary-based and needs some adaptation for the Canadian church but a solid resource to consult and supplement with perhaps. In addition to covering the Old and New Testaments, it includes units on baptism, eucharist, and worship - core parts of the Anglican way.

It includes curricula for:

  • Pre-school and kindergarteners
  • Children (Grades 1-3) 
  • Older youth (Grades 4-6) 
  • Jr. youth
  • Sr. youth


Lesson Plans that Work - And, here is another free lectionary-based resource from the Episcopal church. Lesson plans are 1-2 pages and it has material for younger and older children and adults! 

Youth Ministry


If you only read one book on youth ministry, this might be the best one. The author focuses on a calm, deliberate, systemic and doable approach to youth ministry.

A foundational book which revisions youth ministry away from organizing programs and towards forming the individual lives of young people. An essential read for anyone doing ministry with young people.

In some ways a companion piece to The Godbearing Life; Contemplative Youth Ministry examines how to rescue youth ministry from constant events and program, and to redraw it around practices of contemplative prayer and worship.

Doris Kizinna's book contextualizes youth ministry as a spiritual journey and this book offers youth workers and ministers tools to take a deep exploration of your own beliefs and calling. You'll be able to develop practical, engaging practices to enrich your own spiritual life, and share them with your young people. 

An examination of the impact consumer culture has had not only on young people over the past century, but also on the Church. A fascinating look at how youth ministry can either react to the consumerist world around us, or can become an antidote.

An important book for on the process of visioning or revisioning a youth ministry. From your own place as a leader, to working out goals; the emphasis of the Purpose Driven approach is on sustainable youth ministry with a vision.

A weighty (literally!) overview of the practice of developing a theological youth ministry; from developing a vision to organizing the sorts of programs which can help achieve it.

An essential read for those wanting to understand Canadian youth. Based on thirty years of research, including a 2008 survey of thousands of Canadian teenagers, sociologist Reginald Bibby paints a portrait of everything worth knowing about today’s teenagers.

An important study of 18-30 year olds across the Canadian Church, including Anglicans and those in other mainline traditions. It provides an important insight as to why young people leave the Church and what are the key challenges we need to address. A review of the report’s findings from an Anglican perspective appears in the November 2012 issue of TOPIC.


Youth Groups

As the title suggests, a resource to help small youth groups or those in parishes with a handful of youth who want to begin running a youth ministry but don’t know where to start. An excellent source of ideas for structure, programming, finding support and guidelines for volunteer screening and safety.

Like the “Single Digit” book, this one is specifically aimed at starting and maintaining youth ministry with small numbers of youth. Especially groups where attendance numbers are unpredictable!

A slim volume with fifty tips and nuggets of advice to help you reflect on your youth ministry. It’s a quick, encouraging read but make sure you read it with your twenty first century brain on (for “letter” read “text message” etc.!)


Worship and Liturgies

The sequel to Contemplative Youth Ministry continues the threads from the previous book and collects stories from those involved in the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, which formed the basis of the first book

An excellent collection of ready-to-go liturgies, prayers and responsive readings updating ancient rites for youth worship. Includes CD of ancient-modern liturgical music.

A guide to creating youth oriented worship opportunities, including many examples of liturgies and prayers. Also includes activities to follow up on these worship experience.


Curricula for Youth Groups / Bible Study / Confirmation

A clear, colourful guide to the fundamentals of Christianity and questions of faith. A great resource for planning a confirmation study program.

A lectionary based bible study for teens and young adults from the ELCA (Lutheran). It's free(!) and offers a simple lesson plan. Here's a sample session:

This is a collection of eight YouTube ‘webisodes’ taken from the series “Father Mathew Presents…” Each five minute episode is an engaging and educational look at one of the sacraments of the Episcopal Church. This series can make a fun, interesting conversation starter about the sacraments in the context of a confirmation program. More "Father Matthew Presents..." videos can also be found by following the above link.

Great structures and material for junior high aged students. These sessions were designed for large youth groups; but with a little imagination most of the activities can work with smaller sized numbers.

  • Youthwork Vol. 1: Christian Basics, Kingsway, 1994

Originally from the UK; these ready-to-go sessions combine activities, discussions and Bible studies and make the basis of excellent youth group sessions. These are excellent resources designed for 12 – 16 year olds, but use a lot of British pop culture references. Phil can help with the translating!

  • Youthwork Vol. 4: Belief, Kingsway, 1995
From the same series as the resource above; this time focusing on some of the trickier aspects of theology. Some very useful ideas for those running confirmation classes or a ‘deeper’ discussion group.

Ever wanted to see how the story of Jesus would look if it were presented as Manga (Japanese graphic novel style)? This is a great read which incorporates all four gospels into a narrative of Jesus’ life; and would be a good resource for youth who want to explore the Bible and love graphic novels.

The next graphic novel from the team which wrote Manga Messiah. This one picks up the story with a manga interpretation of Acts and the life of Paul.

Games and Activities

An excellent guide to using activities and group initiatives as a method of teaching and learning in youth ministry. The book's very apt subtitle is that it deals with "how intentional activity can make the spiritual stuff stick"!

95 games and activities for youth which require no extra equipment and little to no planning.

A collection of 230 activities, games and openings for use in youth ministry.

  • Last Impressions: Unforgettable Closings, Group Publishing, 1996
Little or no prep activities with scriptural links which could work in many youth settings, not just closing out a meeting.
Social Justice / Mission

A justice themed confirmation resource from the Primates World Relief and Development Fund. Formed around the Five Marks of Mission and designed to be an a missional addition to an existing confirmation program.

This book is a great primer for social justice issues, and the work of the Primates World Relief and Development Fund, as well as a resource for action ideas for small and large youth groups.

  • Side by Side: Off the Grid,, 2006
This resource contains everything you need to run a twenty four hour event focused on environmental and social justice. The individual resources and activities can also be adapted for youth group needs.
An essential guide for any parish or group contemplating a short term mission trip. The book helps you to explore the vision and theology for what the experience might look like, practical questions about fundraising and guidelines and everything about the experience from preparation through the experience to debriefing and following up afterwards.
  • The Debt Game, Christian Aid, 1999

From Christian Aid in the UK; these simulation games are the perfect way to introduce justice and development issues to a youth group. They combine fun activities with great intros and debriefings – and best of all, each game has everything you need to run it! The Debt Game is one of the more complex, simulating the effects of global free trade, and is best suited to teens and designed for groups of at least a dozen youth.

On the other end of the simulation game scale is the Paper Bag game. Suitable for youth of nine years and up, and can be played with groups of any number. In this game, youth simulate life in the slums of India. (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)

This is a game for medium sized groups of youth; simulating cocoa bean production and selling in both developing and developed countries. Works better the more youth you have! (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)

Or, for Canadians, Trading Sneakers! This game is set in a Latin American shanty town and simulates the clothing trade; and how the demands of the developed world affect the work done (and reward earnt for it) by those in developing nations. Works best with groups of a dozen or more youth. (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)

This simulation game is designed for large groups of youth aged 13-18; but could be used for other ages. It requires little equipment and minimal setup; everything you need is in one document! (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)


Older Books on Youth Ministry

  • Resource Book for Ministries with Youth & Young Adults in the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Church, 1995

Practical and theoretical articles on establishing and operating youth ministries from Sunday School through youth groups to campus ministries. Despite the age, the information is still current and useful.

  • Don’t Panic! The Essential Youth Ministry Handbook, Diocese of Niagara, 1992
A good overview models of youth ministry and modes of teaching, as well as a collection of numerous games, activities and studies.

College Age / Young Adult Ministry

A series of studies and reflections for small group use (but can be used solo) engaging in Christian faith practices in daily life. Could form part of a ministry for older youth, or for youth leaders who want to worship and study together.

Part of a series called ‘Youth Ministry Alternatives’ which seeks to rescue youth ministry among youth and young adults from programs, or nothing, and root it in a vocational companionship with leaders, clergy, parents and everyone else within the Church.

Safe Church and Screening

These guidelines (pages 1-3 of the document) form part of the Diocesan Screening in Faith policy and provide guidance for parishes to develop their own practices for children and youth ministry in accordance with the principles of our Screening policy.

The Red Cross has produced renowned training used across Canada by faith based and secular agencies for work with children, youth and other vulnerable persons. The Diocese has offered training with the RespectED material in the past and DYM recommends this training for children and youth ministries in parishes.