We often see that many acts of violence and provocation are carried out by youth. Youth experience many physical and emotional changes in this period of their lives, and they seek to express themselves, be independent, and make their voices heard. In the violence we have witnessed in Israel and Palestine over the past few weeks, we have seen this demographic (Israeli and Palestinian) express themselves with knives, flags, racial slurs, marches, riots, and demonstrations.
Youth in the Middle East and Jerusalem, in particular, receive many conflicting messages as they connect with Western secularism, their traditional upbringing, and political-religious ideology.
Family structure is breaking down, youth respect their family and elders less and less, and the difficult economic situation they face often leads them to despair.
Fear that their identity is being undermined or threatened can transform this despair into violence as an outlet to express their feelings.
At Musalaha, we believe that youth are an integral part of the believing community.
They are our heritage and our future. It is important to intervene in youth culture by addressing the changes and frustrations youth are experiencing, particularly from a Biblical perspective.
In the past few years, we have invested significant time, energy and research to develop a Curriculum for Youth Leaders. It is a tool-kit that youth leaders can use as they work with youth in order to be effective leaders and examples for the youth, well-equipped to deal with this volatile age group.
In the next few weeks we have two youth leader programs planned:
On November 13-14 we will have a weekend conference in Haifa where we will discuss how to be a successful and effective youth leader, various models for meetings, and the spiritual formation of a leader.
On November 27 we will have a one-day conference in Ramallah looking at youth leadership, youth, and approaches for reaching this demographic.
Investing in our youth leaders is one of the best ways to reach our youth. Please keep these two conferences in your prayers.
By Musalaha Publications Department