In Fuller Youth Institute’s book, Growing Young, one of the main commitments young people find attractive is people who empathize with today’s young people. Empathy is simply listening and feeling what someone else is feeling. Sometimes we think we should give all the answers and fix things, when instead, young people today just want to be heard, they want to share what is happening in their lives with no judgement or critique, and they want a safe place to ask the tough questions like: who am I? where do I fit? why is this happening? and what difference do I make?
This week, we heard from Kate and her pastor, Rev. John Gosswein of Family of Christ Lutheran, Kearney, NE, as they shared about their congregation who takes their young people and empathy seriously. We also talked about each of us, because empathy starts with us. How will you and your ministry be present and listen and eventually offer support to the young persons in your family, your ministry, and your community?