Since a little bit more than a week, young people in the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) have been discussing aDraft Strategic Plan (download here)for the organization. The plan will be voted on by the LWF council in June.
Here is a short summary of some major issues emerging. Please discuss in the comment section.
Role of Youth in the LWF
Many respondents recognized that youth is clearly part of the document. However, there is the hope that it would also be mentioned in other parts:
Therefore, there is the suggestion to include a new sentence under “Shared purpose” on p. 6:
“Valuing youth participation in its work, as well as support, encourage and provide education on the function of the LWF in order to promote an interest of the youth for the global Lutheran Communion.”
There was also the suggestion to include “youth” as a cross-cutting issue on p. 10.
However, there is still an ongoing discussion what the role of the youth in the LWF should be focused on:
- Generational justice?
- Resource of ideas and enthusiasm for the wider church?
- Communion formation and global learning?
- Developing leaders?
Lutheran identity and communion formation
The respondents generally confirmed the need to further work on the common Lutheran identity in the framework of the communion. However, several respondents emphasized that this needs new strategies:
It is not enough to invite a small group of the same leaders to meetings. There is an experience that processes stop at this level, “because they don’t have time again to go down to the grassroots level to impart this knowledge.” (cf. here)
Therefore, the young respondents emphasize strategies that foster learning also on the congregational level:
- Youth exchange and international youth camps should be added.
- Having resources ready that can be directly used in the congregations (speaking to p. 24 in the Strategic Plan)
- Mutual visits of member churches to each other. Here young people should be prioritized participants.
Several respondents mentioned the necessity to work on a better communication for the LWF. It was especially emphasized that young people can be instrumental for the communion to get a better understanding of social media.
In the message of the LWF Youth Pre-Assembly Conference 2010 it was mentioned that the LWF should follow ethical investment guidelines. (cf. p. 21f)
Youth unemployment is another issue that is coming up in conversations. Would that not be a topic to be added as an advocacy priority issue (cf. p. 17)?