Blog 2 October 2016

New life, new priorities

During the council we were encouraged, as districts, to engage with the 3Generate manifestos.

3 Generate is a weekend dedicated to young people in the life of the Methodist Church. Where many such events require whole youth groups to go with the regulation number of leaders in tow, 3Generate is designed to allow smaller churches with smaller numbers of young people to send them for an action-packed time of worship and fun (click here find out more here). If you feel this is something you'd like to volunteer to help with then click here.

Last year the three streams of 3Generate (8-11s, 11-18s, 18-23s) came up with a manifesto each that highlighted the priorities of young people in the Methodist Church. Districts are being encouraged to engage with these manifestos, not just to consider our response but more importantly to think about how we can make them a reality. The manifestos are not just the product of a mass brainstorming session of hundreds of teenagers, they are a clear and succinct statement of what matters to our young people; they scream in clear words what it is we must be prepared to wrestle with if we are to be in any way relevant to a whole generation of new Christians and their friends.

So here they are:

8-11’s group                         11-18’s group                       18-23’s group

 

You'll see from these that the young people identify issues of bullying and gender identity, environmental concern, the plight of refugees, war and peace, and poverty. Across the manifestos there are issues that affect them individually and those of a much more global nature.

The big question that we came away from council with related to how we in the districts engage with this. Firstly, we need to ensure that our church councils have opportunities to debate them, to think about how they may become a focus point in the church life and to consider what it means to reach out to a generation if we continue to ignore the things that God has put so firmly on their hearts. Secondly we need to commit to finding a way to show that these things matter to the church as well. “Ethel” and “Stanley” at 92 years old might not have the same priorities, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore them or lose them under the massive piles of “The Way” at the back of our churches.

So … go here and find ways of practically exploring with the manifestos or use the links further up to print them out and share them with as many people on as many platforms as you can.

These things matter to our young people, which means that they matter to God, which means that they MUST matter to us.

Phil Jackson : Cumbria District Council Representative