Thanks to Jonathan D’Amico for sharing this Great Idea through Building Faith. The article is a month old, already (sorry!), but the Idea is definitely still a Great one.
Jonathan writes about opening space to hear the voices of youth in his congregation – and follow their lead in action and community engagement.
It began with an Amos text from the lectionary, which just happened to appear at the beginning of the program year. In exploring Amos with his youth group, Jonathan sparked a theme for the whole year: Offering Space for Youth to Live into Prophetic Witness.
Read the whole post here.
The group began by exploring the oddity – and downright absurdity – of biblical prophets.
Then they unpacked the terms ‘righteousness’ (‘a standard or a right and equitable relationships among all people no matter their place in society’) and ‘justice’ (‘the concrete actions taken to correct wrongs [injustice] and create righteousness’).
Then they created their own list of ‘things they wanted to use their power and voices to speak to’. The list was so long they had to pick and choose throughout the year. Their culminating project was the annual youth-led Shrove Pancake Supper. This year the youth were given full autonomy to plan the event, execute, and determine how much of the funds would go out, and where they would go. They chose a local human trafficking organization and gave away 100% of their generous proceeds.
Jonathan sites three reasons this event was so successful in so many ways:
- ‘We made scripture and connected it to their world…’
- We gave them ownership of their experience…
- Children and young people are wired for goodness…’
Jonathan concludes the post with the question: What Are the Prophets Saying? It is an invitation to other faith leaders to create space for your own children and youth to speak their prophetic truth out loud – within your congregation to lead the way – and within their communities as active agents of justice and righteousness.
Read the full post here.
Bring the Idea home with a study of Amos, creating space for children and youth to share their concerns about justice among caring circles, and empowering young people to lead the congregation in outside-the-building justice and equity work.
Empowering youth and responding to their leadership can be a new idea – and perhaps a stretch for some congregations. The Ministry Lab can facilitate an Innovation Culture Index and/or an 18-month Ministry Transformation Lab. Contact ED Rev. Emily Meyer on how we can support this process of ministry and community transformation and growth.