Let’s start the conversation…for those of you have already received a direct invitation to this summer’s convention – you may have noticed that there was an attachment called A Covenetwork Manifesto. You may be wondering what this is all about. If you didn’t receive an invitation to the convention already, please consider this to be your invitation to consider attending (for more info – click on the graphic below.)
At our CSI convention this summer we are hoping to have educators joined by church youth workers and pastors. Our theme reflects our desire: Discipling Youth Together. Part of our time we will be hearing stimulating speakers on the topic of nurturing faith in youth and part of our time we will be sharing together what we know about ministry to youth and how we could better work together in that endeavor. We thought it might be helpful to have a starting point for our conversations and so we have put together some draft thoughts and ideas into a document called A Covenetwork Manifesto. I would like to have us start thinking about the draft document now and engaging in some dialogue around it before we even get to the summer convention.
First, a word about the name – A Covenetwork Manifesto. Covenetwork is a term that a friend of mine, Rex Miller, coined to describe relationships that work between home, church and school. He first used this term in his book The Millennium Matrix – a book I highly recommend that you read! The word manifesto may sound a bit dramatic but a manifesto is simply a public declaration of beliefs or aims. So, let’s consider the first part of this Manifesto in this blog post and see what you think needs to be added or subtracted.
We will start with the “Whereas” section of the working document – what do we really believe about our youth and faith nurture? Here is the list so far:
- We value all of our youth as image bearers of God,
- We commonly desire to nurture faith in our youth,
- We believe that youth is a critical time for faith development,
- It is critical that the head (worldview), heart (values, beliefs, attitudes), and hands (decisions, actions, behaviors) of each child develop simultaneously and coherently,
- Current realities in society and family life mitigate against faith development,
- Parents, church, and school each have unique and complimentary roles to play in faith nurture,
- Adults who have extended periods of time and long term relationships have a significant impact on the spiritual formation of youth,
- Recent research advocates for increasing the ability of youths to articulate what they believe,
- We reject a life-style preference, consumeristic view of Christian faith and practice by our youth and wish to encourage a serious, articulate, and confident view of personal and communal faith practice.
What should we add or subtract? Please post your comments.
Next time we will take a look at the “Therefore:” section that follow our “Whereases”. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and consideration!