Written by Peter Johnston
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 17:54
Today was spent vision casting and dreaming dreams about work with young people in local churches, communities and across the presbytery as part of the Management Group responsible for supporting and guiding our Schools and Churches Youth Development Worker, Jen Robertson.
It was an uplifting and challenging day. We began with a time of worship and reflection which resulted in all of us pouring out ideas and dreams for what we believe are the key aspects of the role of churches in the lives of young people in our churches, communities and schools.
The purpose of the day was to go back to basics and then check if the actual practical work being done still fit well with our vision and dream for the post. By the end of the day we found that still there was good fit, which was very encouraging. But I did want to share with you some of our initial dreams... [There's more...]
What would your dream church look like? What would it be doing? We decided to dream up our perfect church - which we called St Mungo's. Here's what we came up with. Remember this is centred around young people.
- St Mungo’s has a mustard seed theology: acknowledging that ministries and faith may start small, and needs to be nurtured, but will grow.
- St Mungo's is confident but not arrogant.
- St Mungo's sees young people as important in their own right for who they are (not for what they might become).
- St Mungo's is intergenerational: it has a place for all.
- St Mungo's offers welcome and support for young people and their families (parents, grandparents).
- This church has a person/group for whom schools work is the priority.
- School work is part of the ongoing ministry of St Mungo's, not an add-on. This is achieved by:
- Religious Observance events in the schools
- SU Group (or other faith exploration / relationship building group) within the school
- Volunteering at school events / serving the school
- Reading/maths/classroom volunteers
- Acknowledging the school as a place in which to show grace
- Being a resource for RME (Religious and Moral Education) classes
- Community links (offering to the school the resources available in the church, e.g. musicians, storytellers).
- St Mungo's has a team of leaders who are:
- St Mungo's finds ways to meet the needs of their local school.
- St Mungo's acknowledges that the church does not exist for itself or for its own members, but for the community in which it is located (which can mean sacrifice and vulnerability).
- St Mungo's is open to finding ways to encourage young people’s faith and supporting those who dedicate themselves to supporting the young people (not forcing the young people to fit with our plans/programmes)
- St Mungo's has people available to build relationships with young people from initial contact through to confession of faith and discipleship (aware of ages and levels of understanding).
- St Mungo's church is committed to providing space for young people to be who they are, and to share with them in that – being a part of the lives of young people.
- St Mungo's is aware and engaged with the support mechanisms available to it (e.g. Youth Development Worker, SU workers).
- St Mungo's sends young people to get involved in leadership training and to participate in events beyond its own community.
- St Mungo's has a plan for residential experiences for young people: utilising SU holidays and also planning their own events.
- St Mungo's is not interested in competition with other churches and strives to work with neighbouring churches to fulfil these dreams.
What would you add to your dream church to support young people?