What will remain after the days in Duesseldorf? What amount of the joy will reach into the congregations? How will the IYC endure? The planning group „Contents“ has dealt with these questions, and as a result the Empowerment Center emerged. What this exactly is and what IYC participants may expect there is explained to the IYC editorial staff by retired District Elder Volker Lerch who is member of this group.
What is the Empowerment Center?
We understand Empowerment as a stronger participation and integration of the youth, they may actively shape church. This includes participation in decidion processes, opening creative leeways and appreciative team work. In the Empowerment Center we want to train everyone involved in the pocess to enable them to cope with these tasks. The Empowerment Center wants to reactivate and motivate the young people an everyone who is involved in the youth work. We want that the IYC may have a lasting effect into the church. Here, a focal point is the active co-design of our church by the young people.
What are the highlights of the Empowerment Centers?
We offer workshops and presentations that both provide training in the described areas and offer a forum to topics specific to the youth. For this reason, we would love to see as many young sisters and brothers participate as possible. Specifically, I would like to recommend the offer to the young people to shape the youth catechism. A unique highlight will be the final conversation that many apostles from various regions and countries will participate in where they will provide their views on youth specific topics.
How did the idea of the Empowerment Center evolve?
At first, this area was called „Education Center“ and was intended to focus on the training of youth leaders and ministers. An internal discussion led to the focus on youth participants. So both, the young people and the function owners are the target audience. Discussing the entire contents or this issue final led to the term „Empowerment“. With this, enthusiasm for Jesus Christ is the prerequisite for an effective and active shaping of the church.
Is there a guarantee for sustainability?
We hope that during the final conversation an agreement with the apostles can be reached how things shall evolve after the IYC. The topics discussed in the Empowerment Center provide starting points and examples for effective actions. At last, these actions need to be implemented in the congregations and the districts – this involves everyone in charge locally.
May young people contribute directly?
Most of the workshops and the discusion forums require the immediate contribution of the young people. Their opinions, their ideas are in great demand! In order to have our young people get involved, we are willing to take their ideas and propositions seriously, even if they may not be in line 100% with the traditional understanding.
What results do you expect?
We expect that the results of all workshops will reflect the opinions, ideas and thoughts of our young people. As the optimum result we hope that there is going to be a boost in active participation of the youth in reshaping our church.
29. May 2019
Text: Andrea Schnizer
Images: Oliver Rütten
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