Thursday, March 5, 2009

Concerns of a Leader...

I could still vividly recall the time when I was elected as a youth leader in our Basic Ecclessial Community (BEC). It was a privilege but a major responsibility as well. At first I was hesitant to accept it. But the convincing words of my mom made me realize that I should not feel that way. "Maybe it's about time you should use your skills for good. They knew you're capable of. And maybe it was His will to let you in. So go and serve Him."

I knew I can. But what I'm afraid of is the responsibility of being a leader. It's not that easy to lead the youth, as we know that the generation we have right now is quite 'hard to manage'. Sorry for the term. And what it makes more difficult is, I'm not dealing with young teenagers or peers from school (whom, I admit, are easier to talk to or deal with, coz you almost share the same sentiments and experiences everyday). I'm about to direct youth in our community, from all walks of life, with different personalities, with varying levels of characters, views and opinions.

Our parish had started the re-organizing of youth in each of the GKKs (or BEC in english) or zones which are part of it. One major cause (or problem) was, the cycle had to be renewed. Majority of the youth in the past are now entering the adulthood. So there are less (or no) classified or official members in the list of youth in the present. Thus, the 'renewing' or re-organizing of the 'asleep' and passive. It is apparently noticed that a great number of youth are not actively participating in the activities of the Church and in the GKKs (chapels), therefore there is a need to encourage the youth to be involved in the ministry.

It is true that a GKK (or BEC) is not a normal community when there is no youth, as what our parish priest stressed in one of our leadership meetings and seminars. Because children of today will be the youth of tomorrow, and the adult of today came from the youth of yesterday. So it would be unusual for a community without the youth generation. What is being evidently expressed, is that the youth can't be seen from the GKK today. Where is the youth now?!

As I listen to each thought and concern of the Church about the rising problem of the youth's status, I realized that I'm part of its vision. And I, as one of those who have been given the task, felt the great responsibility over my co-youth. As leaders we are asked by the parish to help guide the young people to be actively involved in our respective GKKs. To persuade our peers to show their support and participation because WE HAVE our respective roles. We are not 'just nothing' as what most youth thought about the adults thinking of them as such. And the first step to do is to identify our members. Slowly but gradually, encourage them to join the religious liturgical activities not considering mainly the small number of attendance.

But then again, thinking about it is easier than doing it. Making strategic plans as to how we slowly begin to get their interest, of making them feel they belong takes time. But as soon as you start to carry out these plans brings out another question - how on earth will we convince that what we're doing would do better, if not the best to the young generation? If they hear our concerns about them, if they know the efforts being pushed through by the church and the communities, will they readily embrace it? Right away? I guess not.

Being a part of the massive group of the young in the community, I too, have my experiences that hinder me from actively participating in the religious activities. Be it physical, much more spiritual. There is this certain stage in adolescent life where you tend to feel lazy going to church and participating in religious activities. But now that I am a member of the Youth Apostolate, I found a greater reason to be active. Not just for my personal connection with God but as a youth leader who should set a role to my fellow young friends.

No matter what are the reasons behind the passiveness of the majority of youth, or the objectives of the parish, or the uncertainty of the adults' support, one thing's for sure, much depend on my skill. Well, I just hope I could carry on my responsibility. I need prayers for guidance and enlightenment from your part. So help me God. (-_-)