When visiting with different congregations I encourage the leadership to think about how to help the children become good stewards of their faith community. Even the littlest ones can plant a bulb on the grounds and watch it grow over time. By the time they are teens, however, they are able to articulate in joyful and powerful ways what their faith community means in their daily lives. They freely share what they like, what they wish were different and are almost always so willing to help bring about their desired future. Adding teenage youth to your discussions about the future, in your committee meetings, and sitting at the table with the adults is a wonderful way to grow their understanding of stewardship in the fullest possible meaning. Teens also serve as a powerful reminder to adults that their decisions today will impact the next generation.
How is your congregation including youth in their most important discussions? Are they prepared to be givers of time, talent and treasure as they become adults and members?
I’m seventeen, and I’ve been attending my Fellowship in Vista, California for over two years. I’m currently serving on the Religious Education Committee, the Sunday Services Committee, and the Sunday Morning Greeter Team. I attend first service every Sunday, and then during second service I go to YRUU.
I can’t currently speak of which committees and teams the other teens are presently on, there are a lot of active teens in our congregation. I know that two girls sing with the adult choir almost every week, and three other talented teens play instruments with the orchestra. One teen guy even controls the audio visual aspect of services on Sunday mornings. Last year, all the teens pulled together and hosted a brunch to help pay for the recycling program. We also planted native trees on the lower land “nature preserve” area of our property and cleaned and organized the fellowship’s kitchen.
I’m so proud to belong to a faith that values youth and young adults, and continuously works to include all ages.