Community Safety MEC Dan Plato encouraged pastors to register their churches.
He said he wants the pastors to be part of the department’s holiday programme.
Plato met the pastors at Philippi East Community Hall in Lower Crossroads on Saturday.
The MEC said it is important for government to work with pastors.
“Working with pastors is not a sign of weakness. It is an acknowledgement of the fine work they do in our communities. I want you to visit my office and complete the forms. We want each church to help a group of young people,” he said.
“If you keep the youth busy, they won’t have time to do bad things.
“We would be making a huge mistake if we thought we could deal with certain problems without your involvement.
“You spend a lot of time in these communities.”
He said he would like each church to run a soup kitchen.
Apostolic Faith Mission pastor Luzipho Nkosana said the programme will help a lot of young people.
“If all the MECs do what Plato is proposing, we will achieve a lot,” said the pastor.
Plato said applications for next month’s holiday programme are closed. However, pastors can still apply for the December and January.