Fountain of Youth
Younger generations often receive harsh criticism. “Kids these days” is not a new phrase to roll off the tongue of the older and wiser. Generation Y is often tagged with being lazy, entitled and lacking when it comes to interpersonal communication.
Some young people are proving otherwise. Sophia Pink, the 14-year-old daughter of The New York Times bestselling author Daniel Pink, created an award-wining video about Internet censorship that’s racking up YouTube views. I watched amazed as 13-year-old Holden Fincher led worship for nearly 5,000 youth workers at Orange Conference last month in Atlanta. And last night while volunteering at MedShare, a nonprofit that sends unused medical supplies from hospitals and manufacturers in the U.S. to developing countries, I learned about a college student who raised $23,000 for the organization in six months.
The world is the smallest it’s ever been for the next generation of leaders. They think globally and they want to make a difference. The meetings and conventions that attract this generation are the ones that grasp its passion and drive. The June issue of Rejuvenate focuses on several organizations doing just that. Some are adding social justice programs or incorporating young people into leadership and volunteer positions at adult events. Others are catering entire events to their interests.
Planners are using technology, social media and interactive programming to engage young minds. Some ministries are expanding their youth reach, focusing on college students and beyond. Esteem, an organization encouraging young Catholics to hold on to their faith after college, was recently profiled in the New York Times, and we write about Sticky Faith, the curriculum Fuller Youth Institute has developed to help youth workers prepare students for the transition to college, in the upcoming issue.
It takes creative and innovative approaches to reach kids. What are you doing at your events to attract and engage youth?