Henriette (KFS-sekretær for Fyn og Trekanten) og Alexander Engberg Vinkel har udgivet en artikel i tidsskriftet “Vista” om vigtigheden af at inddrage unge ledere og engagere den næste generation i kirken, som vi bringer et udpluk af her.
Vista er et tidskrift, der udgiver forskningsbaserede artikler om mission i Europa, og de har i det seneste nummer sat fokus på de mennesker i kirken, der har været overset i samtalen om kirke og mission i Europa. Her peger de på følgende grupperinger, hvis stemmer mangler i samtalen: unge, kvinder, kirken i Østeuropa og migrantkirke. Du kan finde både denne artikel og resten af magasinet her: https://www.europeanmission.redcliffe.ac.uk/latest-articles
Younger Leaders in the Church?
It is of great importance that we look to the next generation in our Churches, as Barnabas looked for Paul and invited and included him in reaching new people with the Gospel (Acts 9,27; 11,25-26). In Denmark we tend to arrange very segmented programmes divided in different age groups, where we have no or a low chance to get to know one another, and when we do meet across, we act like we do not have a whole lot in common. It often happens that we get to talk more about or to the young people than with them. There is a high risk, when we only talk about or to others and not with them, that we automatically silence their voices. The Church becomes poorer when we mute the diverse voices, and this is also the case when we fail to build relationships and have conversations between generations.
We need the Church to speak with the younger generation and the younger leaders. Every new generation asks new questions. This is true of the young people who do not know the gospel and the Church needs to deal with those questions to be able to reach the younger generation with the gospel. But it is also true of the younger people and leaders, who are already a part of the Church. As a new generation, they also ask new questions.
These questions might sound odd, irrelevant, or even rebellious to older generations, who have been a part of the Church and mission for decades. Maybe they will ask why the Church needs to pay attention to those kinds of questions that younger leaders are raising concerning, for example, the mission of the Church in today’s Europe. But if the older generations of church leaders are not paying attention to and listening to these questions and perspectives raised by the younger generations, we should then not be surprised to see young Christians burning out and even leaving the Church and their faith. Many younger leaders are alone and disconnected from the invaluable experience and wisdom from an older generation. They are longing for older and more experienced generations that are willing to involve themselves in the next generation.
We are a part of the next generation in the Church, and we see leaders from our generation being raised full of integrity and driven to take part in the Kingdom of God. But we need attentive and listening church leaders, who are engaged in the concerns of and questions from a new generation of leaders.
We want to be co-workers in the mission of the church, and we believe that we have a lot to learn from one another. Therefore younger leaders are at the same time longing for mentors and mature Christians who will train and help them to reach the new Europe with the Dynamic Gospel. Often we can feel alone, and there is a great lack of mentors and role models who are willing to walk alongside younger leaders. There is a longing for experienced leaders who make themselves available and who want to help raise a next generation.
A respectful dialogue and partnership between experienced leaders and younger leaders, where new questions can be raised, and hard-won experiences can be shared, is of crucial importance for the ministry of the Church going forward.
Af Alexander & Henriette Engberg Vinkel