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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, January 4, 2010

Generations

Not many years ago the church’s youngest appointee came from Canada East. I well recall feeling a sense of pride as one of our young people spoke with passion and eloquence in support of the World Conference resolution endorsing the UN statement on Rights of the Child. We’ve been proud of young adults who’ve directed our reunions and we rely on the hundreds (Yes, that’s the right word!) of young adults who make our camping program possible. Young adults are bringing us their traveling ministry; they’re integral parts of important boards and committees across the Mission and in their congregations.

Why then do we also collectively hold the certain awareness that senior high students will go away to school and never return to home congregations? Leadership positions come open, wise elders look around at empty pews and, yet again, step into those roles for the sake of the survival of the community. Everywhere we go we hear the question “where are our young people?” and we bemoan the future of the church.

Yet, young campers long for that single week in the distant next summer when they’ll reconnect with friends once again. Carman has shared his experience with Gracelanders who do long to serve the church they care deeply about. Have they really become invisible to us? Or have they truly gone missing?

Here is our paradox. We have many congregations with aging leaders and young adults who stay away, and young adults who want to serve but feel they will never have the chance. This paradox is what we in CEM want to address with our 2020 Vision Goal #1: Young Adult Leader Empowerment (YALE). We are determined to tackle the challenge to bring our passionate and capable young people into positions of genuine authority and opportunity.

We must get intentional about handing off and supporting the direction younger leaders want to go. We need to give them the training, the experience, the opportunity they need to truly lead our congregations of the future, the congregations of the present.
Maybe it’s time for you to examine your own ideas and attitudes toward the next generation around you. Can you see who the next leaders should be? What if those leaders do something or suggest a direction that isn’t what we’re used to? Are you ready to respond with a heartfelt “let’s give it a try”?

It’s time to take this goal seriously. We don’t even think it’s too late. But we need you to make this your goal too, whatever your age or generation. We need you to do some things, maybe even many things, differently. And we intend to help you.

We’d love to hear from you; how are you committing to Goal #1: Young Adult Leader Empowerment?

Posted by Marion

1 comment:

  1. I agree we need to nurture our children, youth and young adults. This was done in the congregation my children grew up in, and my non member spouse always appreciated the opportunities our children were given. Sadly as each of them have grown, and moved on with life, into a new community, and now no longer attend church. I hope, that as we continue to nuture our children, youth, and young adults, they will appreciate, the opportunities they are given to participate and perhaps more importantly we will show our appreciation for their efforts, and continue to encourage them

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