The survey sought from its participants not only the things which they would like to take part in or listen to, but what their personal interests were on the subjects of theology, the Church’s structure and social issues.
Much interest was shown across all age groups in theology: around 80 percent of those who replied were interested in the subject of “Experiencing Christianity in life”, “Life after death” and “Christ’s return”.
The International Youth Convention is taking place on the weekend of Ascension Day, which reflects the interest of the 60 percent returns in the subject of Christ’s Ascension.
Religious opportunities for the youth
The topic of “Religious opportunities for the youth” was seen to be very interesting for over 77 percent of those who replied. However, this title is very wide-ranging with many facets, so that it needs to be more clearly defined and focussed on specific aspects, as, for instance, the presentation of youth meetings or the integration of young Christians in divine services.
The Church, as a topic, appears to be of much interest across the board, where, for example, the aspect of doctrinal teachings of the New Apostolic Church received a 77 percent response, the Church in context with society 79 percent and 63 percent for the Church in context with the political environment. “The Church’s history” and “ecumenism” were of more interest to the 18 to 34 age group. “Offerings and donations” appeared to be of interest to about half of all replies.
Similar interests between males and females
The survey results generally showed very few preferential differences between the male and female genders. The topic “The ministry and the Church” was of more interest to the male participants, which is assumed to lie in the fact that the spiritual ministry of the New Apostolic Church consists entirely of males. However, the planners are very happy to record that 50 percent of replies from females still found the topic to be of interest.
Results received on the subject of ecology were surprising for the planning team. Only around 40 percent of all participants showed much interest in the subject, although the actions being discussed for a sustainable future are very much in the news around Europe.
Other social items, such as “Ethics and morality” and “Social questions” appeared to be stimulating and interesting to between 65 and 69 percent of all replies.
The Church in everyday life
Everyday topics, such as “Marriage and family”, “Planning for life and the future” and “Crisis in life” seemed to have more interest with increasing age. “Life with special needs” and “Social media” were more interesting to the younger participants, aged between 11 and 17.
Further suggestions were put forward by the participants; for example, “Faith and the sciences”, “Partnership and sexuality”, or “The future of the Church”. It was noted that the younger age groups also felt the importance of an open and candid dialogue exchange, especially concerning faith-related issues.
Participants are able to have their own say in deciding the focal points which the programme will have when they submit their own programme contributions or ideas. This survey document will be found under www.iyc2019.org and will be available a little later via the app. It will give the opportunity to combine various musical styles, items and topics in many different ways with each other.
21. December 2017
Text: Jennifer Jendral
Images: Marcel Felde