SLC is all about being Prepared to Lead

ACSI has again done a lot of work for the Student Leadership Conference!

For four days, Christian youth from all over Europe gathered in Vajta, Hungary, at a conference on the theme of "Prepared to Lead". At this Student Leadership Conference organized by ACSI-Europe, not only young people but also teachers received an important message: Build strategically on the formation of Christian youth. What is the yield of these four days? Here is a brief overview of the most important learning points.

  1. A new generation is always necessary. The fire of the Spirit of God is often accompanied by the commitment of young people. So Jesus chose twelve young people who followed Him and were equipped to go into the world. God chose David to defeat the giant Goliath, which proved completely impossible under the circumstances. In his opening lecture, Estuardo Salazar called on the youth to understand their calling: God calls you first to Salvation in Christ, then to a holy life with Him, but finally to a special place in the secular world. Only a few to a special task in a church role or mission.
  2. Give young people responsibilities. In an inspiring lecture, Ken Rudolph made an urgent appeal to young people to show courage, just like David. His anointing with the Holy Spirit equipped him for action, by confronting David with lions (first test) and bears (second test) and then with Goliath. An important lesson from this is “Courage doesn't come out of nothing, it's built into the heart or a leader through difficult testing! The leader must not give up until courage is formed in him through Christ !! ” The challenge for us as teachers is to guide our young people in setting up and developing their action plan. Teach them to recognize the discouragement as giants to be defeated.
  3. Faith grows through action. Do not let young people go to a conference alone, but offer them several training modules, study days or meetings throughout the course year that are both inviting, formative and educational. Young people agree that they will meet at a sing-in where God is worshiped; that is appealing. Also challenge them to read their Bible and form study groups that, for example, read the Bible in one year; that is formative. Come together to pray for others. That is educational. Vajta SLC ACSI 2019 768x451
  4. Thermometer or thermostat. In one of the equipping moments for teachers, we were challenged to think about training young people with the imagery of the thermometer and the thermostat. Many young people behave like a thermometer that moves with the temperature of the environment. In the warm Christian setting they behave 'Christianly', but if they end up in the cold secular culture, then their temperature drops to a low point. Christian education has the assignment and the challenge to transform young people into a thermostat: young people who spread a constant temperature, who warms the environment and does not fluctuate with the outside temperature. Requirements for this formation are warm Christian families and schools, where young people come to a personal surrender to Christ. Only a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ can make them stand. An important tool in schools is working with mentoring: older students go with younger ones and act as role models for them.
  5. Design a program of equipping. Young people indicate that a Christian school is not naturally Christian. Internal secularization breaks young people down: conversations are about parties, drinking and the weekend. Even dedicated youth hardly dare to stand up for their faith. First of all, prayer is needed for dedicated young people to stay standing and for dropouts to be called back. Then also provide conversations to expose this lukewarmness. Boys in particular are asking to be noticed, actively involved and approached, in sports programs or practical deployment in projects that reinforce their identity. In our culture, it seems that boys in particular have nothing left to fight for: they already have everything and cannot achieve it, while girls can still fight for a higher position. There are still areas to be gained in faith: do not reduce service to God through Bible study or discussion groups, but let boys actively participate in organizing meetings, inspiring weekends or sporting activities where faith plays a role.
  6. Attract young people. Faith is under pressure. Young people want to reflect on life, peace and community in their games or messages. Develop e-groups in which young people see and speak to each other. In which they are challenged to participate and see that faith is the foundation for peace, joy, security, victory. Show young people that many common habits break down their character rather than build. Show that there are alternatives to spending leisure time that are at least as cool as going out for a night, acting tough, drinking or smoking; instead: organize a Christian party, help others who have less, enjoy the blessings that God gives you.
  7. An open door for young people! One of the online courses from ACSI focuses on the blessing of partnerships in Christian schools. Everyone wants good education and teachers get confidence. Take advantage of these opportunities and let the new generation know that they are called to live for God! We do not teach because we want a nice salary, but because we want to reach young people! Education is an opportunity, not a job. Education is an assignment with a rich promise: teach a child the right path from an early age, and he will not deviate from it when he grows old. (Prov. 22:6)

This contribution is from Jan van Luik, teacher of religion at CSG Prins Maurits, Middelharnis, The Netherlands

(This has been translated with permission from the Dutch language article found at: http://www.ienknetwerk.nl/V2X/internationaal/slc-in-teken-van-prepared-to-lead/)