The third part of our presentation was a Q & A Panel discussion. The delegates and visitors to classis (most of whom came to hear the presentation – thanks!) were given time to discuss Parts 1 and 2 of the presentation and asked to come up with a question for the panel. Here are the notes from that discussion:
Scott Post – Youth Pastor, CrossPoint CRC(Brampton)
Andrew Nunn – Youth Pastor, Acton CRC
Jason Postma – Youth Pastor, Bethel CRC (Newmarket)
Karen L. – University Student
Shiao Chong – Moderator
Kevin N. – High school student
1Q. What would draw or compel you or your friends to be more excited to say “this is my church”?
A. Karen: gave her “concrete” example, talked about small groups. Kevin: a place to openly ask questions and not be judged, wanting a “safe place”
2Q. A question was asked to the pastors on the floor, Is this radical information or new to you pastors?
A. Consensus, no not radical and they are aware that a change needs to be made, they are looking for help.
3Q. Sometimes there are barriers (to getting our youth involved) for our church, what are they and what can we do about them?
A. They asked that we don’t put an unfair burden on them, give them meaningful jobs, not the jobs that no one wants to do. Also Kevin mentioned that space is a huge barrier, students need space (head space). Someone mentioned, “Invite the youth to be actively involved, it’s okay if they fail, we will be there for them.
4Q. Equipping Parents> what do you see for barriers for parents to disciple their kids?
A. Parents are busy; they are in the mindset that there are professionals on board to help them through their spiritual journey, namely youth pastors. Also trying to find ways on how to engage parents is a barrier.
5Q. Should youth group continue to exist? Should they separate from the rest of the congregation?
A. Maybe the congregation should join the youth in their program instead of the youth joining the congregation. Kevin admitted that he would rather have his own youth group, but learn from each other.
6Q Could Jesus be the best kept question? Where is Jesus in your programming? Where do we see Jesus working in our congregations?
- We see people from all race coming in our churches and celebrating what God is doing. Whether in small groups, large groups in service or prayer.
- Who is Jesus to the 2 students on the panel? (Kevin) Jesus is my Lord and Saviour and more. (Karen) Jesus is continuing changing for her as she grows and matures in her faith.
7Q. What is it that draws you to the Christian Reformed Church?
A. For Kevin it was not a denominational issue, it’s a relational issue. As long as I belong to y church I know that I can be myself there, it’s a safe place for me. It’s the community that matters, as long as Christ is being seen through us.
8Q. What place do God’s covenantal promises take place in your lives?
A. Professions of Faith, baptisms are milestones that should always be celebrated. Should we be celebrating “anniversaries” of our baptism and POF days? We want to make them special and celebrate them.
9Q. How well are our sermons blessing our young people? What help could you share with pastors to make your sermons more inviting?
A. Share stories, Kinetics learning/tactile learning, physical engagement (head, hand, and heart). Our youth are visual learners, pictures and power points are a plus.
10Q. How do we include the congregation in sharing with the youths faith spiritual journey? How can that 56year old share?
A. Our youth are very relational; many enjoy 1 on 1 discussion. An example was given if there is an older congregant who doesn’t like to pray out loud but will do it with a younger person. We also have to remember that through our baptismal vows, we need to take ownership also. Mentoring is super important.