(Don’t) let it go!

2014. augusztus 19., kedd

At the Konfi+ conference on 24-27 August, youth workers of the Carpathian Basin will discuss the possibilities of calling young adults. Why is it so hard for the Church to address these ages nowadays? We asked Szabolcs Szontágh, the head of the youth office of Reformed Church in Hungary.

Who is this conference for?

We expect participants who are dealing with kids between the ages of 18 and 30. So, those engaged teaching, in a youth group or in a university congregation. We already dealt with high school-age students during our last conference, so now we want to deal with young adults. Anybody could say that these ages are not in youth work. But yes! Let’s think about our university congregations and about the fact that more a thousand young people disappear every year from reformed high schools. These ages have special needs that we should know, to be able to address them with the Gospel and make them committed congregation members.

From finishing final exams to having children is a hard period of life – lots of people only come to the church for a marriage or christening.

That is why we widened the limit of the ages, because after being a young adult we become people with families, whether early or late. At the age of eighteen our parents hold our hands during hard times: getting a driving license or taking final exams, for example. From here we have to face lot of difficulties: we are individual in some cases but we still need our parent’s help, we manage our university timetable, move in with our girlfriend or boyfriend, but we cannot find a job and we don’t have our diploma yet. In this period we have to make serious long-term decisions. So, our values are important in order to be able to make good decisions.

So the dilemma of the conference is, as its title says: let it go, or don’t let it go?

At the age of eighteen a person is legally an adult. An adult cannot be limited. An adult should be let go. However, it’s not allowed to give up on them just because they’re only interested in entertainment and therefore impossible to call them. This is not true. We don’t know how to address them in the pressure of becoming an adult, and don’t know how to help them make good decisions where they are in their lives with the Word of God. During the Reformed Unity Festival we saw that there are a lot of congregations, university communities, youth organizations, that are really good at addressing more generations and giving advice to young people.

Unity festival and unified church: this year, who will be the participants of the Carpathian Basin conference?

We want to call attention to the Carpathian Basin university congregations. It is very important to see their strategic role and support them. The professional community that they create means a lot. With them we can see the problems, questions, desires and projects of university students better so we can address them easily.

I think that in professional development there are no limits: with this unified knowledge base we can present a good image of the youth work.



Written by Zsuzsanna Bagdán; translated by: Nóra Csobán

reformátusok lapja 2014/24

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