Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Intro to Thoughts on Engaging Youth

This is a big subject that I have been wrestling through for months (and alluded to a week ago). Slowly puzzle pieces have aligned as I have had one small "ah-ha" moment after another. Sometimes sitting in class or church, frequently reflecting on the last 5 years of my life, and other times talking with Elena in the car or on a run. I am going to try and pound through putting some of these construed ideas into logical words for the first time.

How one engages youth in a meaningful dialog concerning ones faith (which I believe is holistic, concerning every nook and cranny of ones live) is an essential subject to discuss if there is any desire for the faith to endure, not to mention vibrantly flourish from one generation to the next.

I will dissect this topic from two angles.

The first case study will be a cross cultural example (Russian/American); which I believe merely magnifies the same issues that are relevant within what is typically viewed as a single culture (i.e. "American"). I will look at the struggle between youth who have grown up in a culture that is utterly foreign to the adults in their community.

The second case study will use a story I heard of one individual young college student; a story that I believe will seem all to familiar to many. This example will zero in on the form of dialog used between youth and adults.

My hope is this can provide material for healthy discussion about an issue that causes much pain and burden in the lives of both youth and adults. And even worse, an issue that distorts and hinders the sweet melody of the Gospel from being heard.

So please, hang on for the ride, leave comments, and invite others into the conversation!


Mexico or Bust said...

It depends on what type of engagement you are trying to develop a conversation off of. Are you looking more from the interaction with a different culture of youth or are you engaging from a disciplinary position. There is something to be said about being both because I've dealt with a split personality of being the Law and their friend.

DK said...

You raise a good issue. I need to more narrowly define the two parties. I am thinking more of what is a parent/child conversation; however the "parent" role could be adults/elders/leaders in the church. The age range I am thinking (in America, because that's what I know) of is roughly 12-25 with 35+