Global Encounter at the German Protestant Kirchentag in Hamburg
“What do you know about the Lutheran World Federation? What challenges do young people have in your church? How do you feel about studying in Germany?”
These were some of the questions discussed with the young LWF scholarship holders in Germany. They were invited to a meeting with the LWF Youth Desk, the German National Committee and Bread for the World.
Being blessed with a common spirit and excellent listening skills these future pastors and deacons shared about the challenges young people are facing in their churches.
For some youth groups in a minority situation, it is the distance they have to travel to meet each other weekly. For others, church does not seem to be attractive enough for youth. In other places, the space for youth leadership training is missing. Also a concurrence with charismatic movements challenges the youth work in their churches.
Together, suggestions on how to improve were developed: engage in ecumenical dialogue, let young people participate in the congregation’s life and decision making bodies, reflect together about living as a Christian in a non-Christian society and mostly: don’t work for young people but with them.
The encounter ended with the promise to soon meet again and to network more throughout the LWF communion to support each other even after studying together in Germany.