Home MB HeraldHomepage Ontario youth leaders told to slow down

Ontario youth leaders told to slow down

0 comment


Every year, students, youth pastors, and youth leaders from MB churches across Ontario converge upon Camp Crossroads for the annual youth leadership building weekend. At last fall’s gathering, Oct. 17–19, speaker Mark Yaconelli focused on slowing down and receiving God’s love.

Yaconelli’s teaching provided an excellent complement to the passion stirred by 2007 speaker, author, and activist Shane Claiborne, who talked of living “in community” and pursuing social justice.

An author and speaker from Oregon, Yaconelli does research and ministry on teaching youth contemplative Christian traditions and practices. Busyness and doing “stuff” can easily become an idol in our fast-paced world, warned Yaconelli, and making time for God can be deceptively challenging. However, his research has shown that youth respond positively to “slowing down.”

The assembled youth ministers learned that the early teenage years are especially important in faith formation, so it’s important to give youth opportunities to connect with their Creator in deep and sustainable ways. The biggest challenge for many youth leaders may be that they are themselves not taking the necessary time to slow down. Practical application was immediate as Yaconelli opened each session with a time of silence.

Yaconelli’s message isn’t new; Jesus himself frequently stepped away from the world to be with the Father. By connecting with God in a deep way on a regular basis, God’s people will be better equipped to create the community, love, and justice we dream about and reach for.

Rory Schafer is a member of Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines, Ont.

You may also like

Leave a Comment