A little over a year ago, I received a mysterious message:
'Hi Jenny. What is your address? I have an invitation I would like to pass on to you!'
This invitation turned out to be for ‘Find Your Place‘, a programme designed to help young adults consider their place in God’s big mission.
'How intentional,' I thought, 'to be invited to explore my place in God’s kingdom.'
‘Intentional’ is a word that encapsulates my experience of ‘Find Your Place’. I noticed that nothing about it seemed thrown together or random. Rather, each piece of teaching and activity had been carefully considered, chosen in order to draw us closer to God’s heart and call on our lives.
One of the first activities we did was a life graph, where we had to reflect on the journey God has taken us on up to this point. I remember being surprised at what the Holy Spirit brought to mind about my formative years. It caused me to ask God some questions that I hadn’t in a while. Questions like what was the purpose of that? or why did you place me in that place, at that time?
I’m a youth worker, but when I took part in this programme I wasn’t. Looking back, I can see how God used ‘Find Your Place’ as one piece of the larger puzzle that made up my next step. Reflecting on my journey and asking him about certain elements of it led me to considering what was next and seeking his guidance more than I had in a long time.
The format was helpful practically as well as spiritually. I noticed ‘Find Your Place’ was somewhere I felt comfortable to speak out my thoughts and be honest and vulnerable. I have found myself using similar teaching methods in my job to get young people talking and opening up. One of the most helpful things was realising that it is often far more beneficial to be conversational, rather than talking at people all the time. That may seem obvious to some, but having that realisation early on has probably saved me from a lot of senseless babbling!
Much of the content we covered has stuck with me and continues to challenge me today, particularly thoughts around our generation’s relationship with commitment and social media. It has caused me to consider what habits and practices I am modelling to the next generation, both in work and in my personal life to my nieces and nephews.
‘Find Your Place’ is currently running in a church in Dublin. If you’d like to find out more about helping young adults in your church or community find their place contact Innovista Ireland. If you’d like to invest in helping young adults like Jenny find their place in God’s mission, you can give a gift to Innovista Ireland.
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