GOYA, The Greek Orthodox Youth of America, ministers to young people ages 13-18. Teenagers should be in sixth/seventh through twelfth grades to participate, depending on the how junior high/middle school is structured within your area.
The adolescent world is changing rapidly—it is virtually impossible to keep up with every new trend and movement of their culture. Growing up in today’s society is a much more difficult task than it was in previous times. Our young people are constantly being exposed to negative and destructive influences. If these influences are not challenged, they can, and will, define who our young people will become.
Innocence is slipping away at an alarmingly early age. For these reasons, the positive
teachings and traditions of the Orthodox Church must become a living presence in the lives of our teenagers. This makes ministry to our young people not an option, but rather a necessity.
Youth ministry needs to begin early, well before the teenager begins to participate in GOYA Ministry. It begins with the family in the home, and it needs to continue in the home as the young person grows in the Church. As youth workers, it is important to keep in mind that the single greatest influence on how young people develop a “sense of self” is their parents.