This afternoon, as I was reading through the Memoirs of Thomas Boston (1676-1732), I encountered a firsthand description of his catechetical "youth ministry" within the parish of Ettrick, where he served as pastor for two and a half decades. Check it out:
It had been my manner of a long time, besides the catechising the parish already mentioned, to have diets [i.e. meetings] of catechising those of the younger sort; and they met in the kirk, sometimes in my house. What time I began this course, I do not remember: but I think it has been early; for I learned it from Mr. Charles Gordon, minister of Ashkirk, whom I found so employed in his house when I went at a time to visit him; and he died, at furthest, in the year 1710.
By this course I got several young people of both sexes, trained up to a good measure of knowledge; some of whom unto this day are solid and knowing Christians; but it suffered some interruptions. The time I found fittest for it, on their part, was from January to the beginning of May; and the whole youth of the parish, who were disposed, and had access to wait on, came together, and were welcome; as were others also, who inclined to hear. The intimation of their first diet was made from the pulpit; and then from time to time I set, and signified to them, their next diet: ordinarily they met once a-fortnight; sometimes once in twenty days only; sometimes once a-week, as occasion required.
Several times these meetings were closed with a warm exhortation to practical religion; the which I sometime used also in the diets of catechising the parish. Thus this accessory work fell in the time when ordinarily I was weakest; and of late years, that my frailty notably increased, I wanted not inclination sometimes to give it over. But that I might better comport with it, I did some years ago cause make a portable iron grate, in which I had a fire in the kirk to sit at, on these occasions. [pp. 437-438]