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On Youth and Justice

January 31, 2011

I was in a meeting this weekend to plan an annual conference where 800+ teens descend on a local university for the May long weekend, and do teen Christian Conference things. I might post some other time about the intricacies of Christian youth event (SCL style, hopefully) but what caught my attention at this meeting was something said by a rep from Compassion Canada.

The general thought she shared was that this generation of youth doesn’t need the older generation to motivate or encourage them to be focused on social justice. They don’t need our inspiration or passion. They’re passionate in ways that the church has never seen before, and what they need from their parents’ generation is every opportunity to say yes to God.

After that, one of the older members of our team (60-year old CRC guy with the biggest heart for youth) said his generation has to push themselves to wrap their minds around what God is doing in the lives and hearts and minds of young people. To see churches that are transformed by kids who care about and are willing to get uncomfortable for the sake of the poor is something new for some of the older people in his circles, and it takes a whole lot of grace on both sides.

This perspective was so valuable to me because I would fall in the “passionate youth” category, but had the incredible blessing of hearing the “wise elder” perspective. These grace-filled perspectives set the tone for the decisions we made on Friday night, and I’m excited to say that we’re opening up SO many opportunities for youth to get involved in justice.

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