Helpful #YouthStats from Around the World

As I work with young people around the world, I find it helpful to monitor trends, issues, and challenges affecting them. That’s why I keep a Twitter list of people and organization working with young people. If you want to subscribe to this list, head over to: https://twitter.com/mightyrasing/lists/young-people.

If you didn’t already know, the United Nations General Secretary has an Envoy on Youth. That office has come up with #YouthStats, which is a cool resource for youth leaders and youth workers around the world.

Click on the image below to go to the #YouthStats page:

 

YouthStats

Each of the icons above correspond to the Sustainable Development Goals that the United Nations came up with after the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals.

You can even download each section into PDF, which will come in handy for youth workers with limited internet connection.

How to use this list of #YouthStats:

  • Consult the list of trends and challenges listed on each page as a benchmark for planning programs in your settings. But don’t rely blindly on these stats, since they are aggregated. Verify with some young people in your own context and adjust accordingly.
  • Follow the link on each trend/issue to download a PDF of a more in-depth analysis of each statement. This is important for leaders and youth workers who want to analyze further and look for region-specific data.
  • Remember that data are useless unless you plan to use them to help young people in your area. Don’t just display your knowledge of these issues and trends. But use them to make a difference in the lives of the young people you work with.

 

Fish on the Other Side of the Boat: Message at Las Pinas UMC

Text: John 21:1-19

Introduction

Have you ever been to a Worship service that’s not United Methodist? Ecumenical? How about one of those CF’s: VCF, CCF, GCF?

Try attending one worship service at CCF in Ortigas or pretty much any VCF in Metro Manila, and I bet that you could see 3 or 5 Methodist young people in attendance.

Or, probably, try watching the Social Media accounts of our young people, and you’ll see them Checking In and talking about the worship services at any of these “new” and very dynamic churches.

I grew up a United Methodist. I was probably singing in the choir already when I was still in my Mother’s Womb. Attended Sunday School, and ditched several episodes of Voltes V. I attended School for Christian Youth Development for three years, and since 1993, I’ve been a regular delegate of Christmas Institutes, except for about 3 years of College, where I grew my hair long, listened to screaming metal music, and tried to make sense of my faith, my life.

Right off the bat I could say that the United Methodist Church has a solid Children’s ministry and an awesome youth ministry which produces leaders in the church and in the society. But after that period of involvement with the UM Youth Fellowship, something happens.

Either there’s a hunger among young professionals/young adults we can’t address or their commitment to church gets buried in an avalanche of new experiences, new experiences, and ‘new’ expressions of faith.

And yes, I confess, I attend Bread of Life Crossroads 77 occasionally, when I feel like it.

What do they have that we don’t? Why are they able to attract more people while we seem to be floundering, declining, even?

Or maybe, those are not the right questions to ask at all? Continue reading