Youngsters about youth work

2018. május 08., kedd

Everyone can be an example - that was the topic of the RCH Youth Assembly held on 6-7 April 2018, where more than forty Reformed students, high school and college, came from different parts of the country to discuss the Youth Ministry in the Synod. How can the youngsters be examples? Participants of the Youth Assembly thought creatively, testified courageously, paid attention to each other, and praised the Lord together.  It is also promising that the staff of the youth hostel, where the students were staying, did not believe that their guests were students.

This year marked the 7th RCH Youth Assembly. Each year, the participants were given a new topic: the youngsters shared their questions and opinions on various subjects, including confirmation, service in local congregations, and life as a young member of the Church. The youth also provided feedback and recommendations regarding these topics to the Synod. Anna Balázsfalvi-Ábrám, Head of the RCH National Youth Office, organized the event and shared, that besides the work mentioned previously, networking is also an important aim among the members of the Youth Assembly. She said that this network is a tool to fish for people because the God invites everyone to this mission, just as Jesus did this with his disciples. The twelve disciples, called by Jesus, were far from perfect but Jesus saw the good and the opportunities in them, just as He sees the potential in us so that we can be examples in our communities of his glory.

On Friday, the attendants were asked to think about their calling, their individual gifts, and how they may serve the Lord best – with their hearts, hands, or brain? The leaders of the small groups were moved by some of the personal testimonies: from those who shared about the comfort of God to the passionate call to fight against human trafficking.

On Saturday, Györgyi Czikó, a theologian student at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, spoke on 1 Timothy 4:12 of how the participants of the Youth Assembly can be examples in their own school and university communities in all areas of their lives: in their speech, self-reliance, love, faith, pure morality, and so on. In the first half of the day, they shared their experiences and their ideas on what great youth work looks like in congregations, in schools, in universities, and across the country.

According to the participants of the Youth Assembly, characteristics of good youth work are sociability, testimony, and welcoming atmosphere. The possibility of self-examination, experiencing forgiveness and community, receiving pastoral care, and glorifying God are essential in their faith-building. Many of the participants in the Youth Assembly are regular attendees to various National Youth Mission Programs held every year: Youth Prayer Night in the Carpathian Basin, Starpoint Reformed Youth Festival, the pilgrimage organized by the SDG Movement (Soli Deo Gloria, a Hungarian Reformed Youth Movement), and trainings for youth group leaders organized by the Youth Office. Many of the regular participants were involved in the children camps, after which they became volunteers, camp leaders, and eventually camp organizers. As for the mission of the youth, they believe it lies primarily in community events and regional meetings, which requires much organization, financial resources, and Carpathian Basin-level connections. Taking part in spiritual events is great, but it is important for the youth to have a backbone and content with real-world meeting. For example, if the worship services in schools are superficial, it alienates them, not only from their congregation, but also from the youth life of the Church. The youth of the Church would like to encourage church schools to organize more informal programs, like Q&A events where the youth can freely ask questions and discuss various topics on living faith. The students who attended non-church schools found it harder to live out their faith and get in touch with the gospel. For this reason, the youth felt it was their duty, as young believers, to pray for their peers regularly and bravely talk of their faith.  

Young people seek the opportunity to engage in the life of the Church whether it is in their congregations, in their school community, or in the National Youth Mission through various programs organized by the Youth Office. This is made possible through various workshops in which youth organizations can present their programs, including the Hungarian Christian Student Organization, the Hungarian Reformed Youth Association, the Soli Deo Gloria Reformed Youth Movement, and the National Youth Office of RCH.

Written by Zsuzsanna Bagdán

Translated by Éva Ács

Photo by Richárd Kalocsai

           

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