Leadership Summit: A Celebration of Hope
Evangel – Summer 2013
The Western Canadian Leadership Renewal Summit, hosted at ABC in early May, saw forty-seven leaders from across the West and several from the US, take part. It was two days of challenge considering the faith of youth. It was also a celebration of hope considering how to help Canadian young people to become faith engaged.
The following is a “collage of quotes;” tasters for what went on:
“Our movement is a unified missional community making ourselves available to the world as a reflection of the Missio Dei.” From Kelly Carter, Lead Pastor, Calgary Church of Christ, on the implications of Trinity for the Restoration Movement.
“The palette that God is working with through His people is not tiny! It includes our call. But it also includes our character, our culture, and our communities.”From Sandra Osborne, Student Development Director, ABC, on engaging young adults in the service of Christ.
Four spiritual types among Canadian young people (pie chart):
- Whether parents are engaged or disengaged. Do they ‘model’ it, or is it for show?
- Whether the community of faith is vibrant or stagnant. Vibrant community is focused on growing people in Christ; the ethos is cross-generational, authentic, and inclusive. The 5-toxins in stagnant communities: hypocrisy, judgement, exclusivity, fear of failing, no opportunity to use gifts and experience.
- Whether teaching and beliefs are empowering or restrictive. Empowering teaching is transparent, goes deep and deals with tough topics.
- Whether God is experienced or unexperienced. “How is it possible that the gospel should be credible, that people should come to believe that the power which has the last word in human affairs is represented by a man hanging on a cross? I am suggesting that the only answer, the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live it. (Leslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, 1989)
The NEW NORMAL of Church Life that leads to Engagement is not about a new hire, program, fix, or order of service. It is a NEW WAY OF BEING where we encounter God ourselves, let ourselves be adopted, let ourselves be who we are in our gifts, in brokenness and healing, being a family.
3 Ah Ha’s:
- Most young adult nonattenders drop faith and church together.
- More young people leave before high school graduation than after.
- Transitions are the key source of loss.
From James Penner, Sociologist, University of Lethbridge, on Hemorrhaging Faith Research.