Posted on Jun 13, 2019 by Emily Nelson Dixon
Synod assembly was last weekend and I got to work on the committee that helped pull it off. My job was to work with the youth that came to the assembly meeting. Clearly, I had the best job on the committee!
We met with the youth a few times, played games, sat together at meetings and worship, and I got to know some really cool and thoughtful youth in our synod.
One piece of feedback they shared was that they often don’t feel heard by adults. And they were excited because this was the first synod meeting where they felt the adults really saw them.
I noticed that many adults commented on the candy we had all over our table, but then would chat with the youth sitting there. It was like the adults needed a starting point to begin a convo — so they focused on the candy. I was reminded that most adults, other than crazy youth leaders, are really intimidated by talking to teenagers. They’re not sure how to approach them, and assume they wouldn’t want to talk to them because they’re adults. But that results in teenagers not feeling heard or seen by adults.
Teenagers have so much to teach us, but I’m afraid we, as adults, forget that. We let our intimidation turn into the false notion that they need us more than we need them.
Just like any group of people, our differences (adults and teenagers) are what make us all better.
We should be excited and proud, church; we have some awesome youth that grace our halls at Salem, as well as in our Synod. I hope you take your next chance to chat them up — you’ll both be better for it.
Emily Nelson Dixon
Director of Teen Ministries and Outreach