10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff

Come join in the discussion of faith at the Koinonia Page where scripture and life intersect in conversation and exploration. Visit on Facebook, Twitter, and Dave's Web Page too! I'd welcome your company at Palmyra First United Methodist Church, where I hang out, too, come and see!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

6 Promises to Young Adults -- An Open Letter

Dear Friends,  I want you at the table.  I'll admit that I don't always know how to say that well. I humbly ask for your help.   Let's talk!

This letter took shape in my mind from an impulse, "I want to encourage Young Adults to Vote!"  Sitting down to write, I realized I was thinking of something far bigger than simply voting. Voting is only one small piece of exercising your vision in this world.

We share a future, and in that unfolding season my time of leadership is setting while yours is rising.  I need to lift you up and make space at the head of the table, if I am to lead responsibly.  I'm interested in your ideas, partnership and directions.  My deepest wish is to be an advocate for you; to be an cheerleader for you; and if you desire, a mentor for you.

As a pastor, I could frame my hope of passing the mantel, and for strong community, with the stories and convictions of  my faith.  Indeed that's my personal foundation.   But, I don't need to share my faith in order to offer my hope and invitation.  I can just as easily call to you from a framework of vital community, making the point with best practices from many disciplines.  My interest is not based on you agreeing with me!  No matter how I slice it, your voice is necessary.  Without you in the conversation around the table, the future is dim.

Here are my commitments and intentions:

  1. I'll listen to you.  (And if you think I'm not listening, I want you to tell me.)
  2. I'll honestly share my thoughts, especially if you ask.
  3. I'll be as transparently me, as I know how.
  4. I'll give you genuine encouragement and feedback.
  5. I'll get it wrong sometimes.  When I mess up, I will make amends.
  6. I will welcome your help on all these things and more.

When I was in my twenties, I remember serving on an regional education team that generously mentored me. Within two years, that group risked inviting me into leadership as chairperson. Looking back, I could not have filled that responsibility well without support and encouragement.   I am deeply grateful for that trust, model, and mentoring.  I am richer for it.

I seek to share that gift offered to me, not because I want you to do what I prefer, or to vote for the candidate that I like.  My wish is to celebrate your gifts.  I desire your participation, listening, and leadership. I have a responsibility to you, helping you to accomplish important and world sustaining things. I'd love to hear your insights and ideas.

So... I thought I'd start by asking.  Maybe we can pull up a chair for coffee or a meal and talk?  I'm looking forward to your reply.

10,000 Joys -- Dave Harris