Noteworthy signposts from the survey of young people with regard to vocational discernment, faith and Church (England and Wales)... I'm looking at these from the Indian scenario, for though the reality is slightly different, the situation back home will soon be the same as it is here. The sooner we wake up and shape up, the better chance we stand at being relevant and meaningful. Or else not only will young people be out of the church, the church will be out of their world as well! In spite of the serious drawback that most of the 3,298 participants were mostly those who 'come to Church', the results offer some insights worth serious consideration:
- An accepting, non-judgemental environment is essential for young people to feel welcome in church settings. So implicit, informal, friendly invitations are more effective than explicit stipulations that they should be present.
- You have struck a chord with young people, if they invite their friends as well.
- Church needs to move from being the conscience of the people to forming the conscience of the people.
- The word 'vocation' has become toxic to some catholics as it seems too narrow in the way that it is used! (As though only call to priestly and religious life are 'vocations' and the other life choices are not. And that the former are greater than the rest of vocations!).