93 percent of the 3,000 plus survey participants showed lots of enthusiasm for the inclusion of music in the programme of the International Youth Convention. This information and more details about music choices has already been reported. The survey also allowed the youth to record how other programme choices appealed to them.
The planning group responsible for programme contents and presentations, headed by Bishop Thomas Matthes, is busy with planning the contents of events around the exhibition premises. The youth, in groups or as individuals, is asked to send in its entries for music and any other detailed contents for the programme or just programme ideas. However, the team is also looking to meet the challenge of setting the programme’s focus and will be using the survey results to achieve this.
Much interest in divine services
The youth place great value in the divine service. 96 percent of those asked rated the divine service to be of interest. This level was higher than the responses received from any other survey questions.
Similarities were found between the different age groups concerning the evaluation of certain items: for example, workshops, presentations or spontaneous street music. Between 74 and 78 percent of all replies were interested in these subjects.
Discussions, activities and contents
The results returned for other programme items varied between the age groups, whereby only 43 percent of the 11 to 17 year olds were interested in seminars, against 83 percent of those aged between 25 and 34. A similar conclusion was reached on the question of podium discussions.
The younger age group showed more interest in programme items with physical activities, where, for example, around 51 percent mentioned sporting events, and 71 percent voted for indoor and outdoor games.
On the other hand, the older survey participants significantly preferred programme items with more substance. Around 67 percent of the 18 to 24 age group and around 77 percent of the 25 to 34 age group were interested in workshops, seminars, presentations and podium discussions or exhibition booths and displays. Devotionals and spiritual counselling discussions were otherwise rated with little interest and appear to be in less demand for the International Youth Convention.
The importance of dialogue exchange
The subject of making contacts through a dating exchange didn’t seem to be very interesting, with only around 31 percent positive replies. The overall response, however, clearly shows an eagerness in making new contacts, preferably in the form of cafés set up in the halls or through pen friendships.
The openness of returns received already gives the organisers an impression of the participants’ creativity. Discussions about faith experienced in different countries and games to foster contact-making were suggested as ideas for the cafés. From October, all these ideas can be submitted as concrete suggestions for the programme.
24 percent of all participants were interested in career guidance, whereby numbers significantly diminished with increasing age. Around 37 percent of the 11 to 17 year olds, 22 percent of the 18 to 24 year olds and only 18 percent of the 25 to 34 age group were interested in this subject. The planning group assumes that this is linked to the different stages of life between the participants, because younger people are more involved with the right education and career development.
In the expectations of participants to the International Youth Convention, their highlights will be the communal celebration of the divine services. They are also looking forward to experiencing communal fellowship, according to the wishes returned from the survey.
The organisers now require the programme to be filled, so that around 30,000 young Christians will have many opportunities to get to know each other and so overcome the different language and social barriers. Social contact cannot only be gained in having fun but also in experiencing faith-related dialogue.