More than 150 Anglican clergy from Waiouru to Wellington have been gathered at the Copthorne this week to talk about how they can better support young people.
Bishop of Wellington Justin Duckworth, ordained last month, said that over the three-day conference it had become clear that the clergy needed to focus on parents and families.
"As a church we need to work out how to better equip children and their families ... The young are the future of our church.
"If we're not helping young people, the church is not supporting a large percentage of our parishes," he said.
Mr Duckworth has worked in youth development for 25 years, has three teenage children of his own with wife Jenny, and still does youth worker training despite the demands of the new role - but said the clergy had prioritised youth before he came along.
Ministry educator Tony Gerritsen said the Diocese was working in a "brave new era" and has been focusing on upskilling the clergy on skills for leading young people.
"We felt we had sort of done it at an adult level, and we thought, 'how do we do that with the youth?"' he said.