Yesterday's Parish youth meeting was a good learning experience in youth ministry. The Parish Priest wanted to have a youth group and therefore called together all the youth and straight away held the elections for the leaders. As is the case in any Parish of the world, the youth here too are divided on the lines of language and culture. Though this was a known fact to all involved, the realisation dawned only after the meeting that the strategy could have been different in getting them to work together. As was bound to happen, the election ended up in a big uproar and poor Thathi was caught in the cross fire!
The ideal would have however been to first form a group... really FORM a group and only then let the leadership emerge from that. Now there is neither group nor leader. Youngsters need to know why at all is the youth group necessary and what ultimately is the whole concept of a youth group. Thathi was right in his final decision: to henceforth gather the youth for some animation sessions and only after a certain period of time, when they have sufficiently understood what a Parish youth group is meant to be and they know each other sufficiently well, then have the election for the office bearers! So, first build the group and then let leadership emerge.