Lately I've been reflecting on experiences and conversations I've had with fellow youth delegates to past Annual Conferences. Every year by about Thursday afternoon a group of us end up gathering for a meal at The Grill, while we try to figure out how to change the Church and through the Church the world. We dream dreams. We plan plans. We take notes. We think up pointed questions with ingenious follow-ups to ask the Bishop that night. But in the end, it comes down to us either not being taken seriously or us not wanting to put Bishop Davis on the spot. We realize that we could start something big, and yet we don't. Why?
In thinking through this and the role we youth have at AC, the General Conference elections that are coming up in '07 come to surface in my mind quite often. What is the role, what can be the role and what should be the role of the youth delegation? The short answer is, I don't know.
The longer attempt at an answer to this question is this: The youth delegation could become a block, or push, to change election outcomes.
We wouldn't want to and couldn't presently become a new caucus group due to the suspicion adults would have for a delegation comprised of youth; the perceived lack of experience on our part, and the lack of time we have to actively give to causes (and whose fault is that, I might add) would be presented as problems. However, we could easily become a whip that shapes the lay delegation. Ultimately though, this would mean organizing our votes as youth. And organizing votes puts us in a situation that not only is distasteful and shows a lack of trust in God, but it puts me in a situation that I personally don't want to be in. How far is too far, and where is the line? What sort of intentional conversations might we have among us fellow youth without compromising our integrity at all?
We must be a city on a hill, and a light in the lamp stand. We must be above reproach to ever be taken seriously. We must set an example among the believers.
We are 60+ strong, and we can have an impact -- a HUGE impact -- in the way things are done at Annual Conference and in the Church. I'm struggling now to figure out what our role is, what my role is here? I have no doubt that we can change things.
How might we do it. . .