Use social media to keep in touch with young people, but don’t be fooled into believing this can provide real connection. Social media is powered by advertising revenue so treat it for what it is, a marketplace. We must be present in the marketplace, as Christians must be present everywhere in society, but we need to be leading towards genuine experiences which help people to reconcile to themselves, to God and to one another. Promote the concept of allowing personal time and space for silence, stillness and solitude.
The digital world causes us all to become less present to God, to ourselves, and to one another. The key question is to ask how we can reintegrate and reconnect with our humanity and our divinity. The demands of the world to be cool and current are relentless. People need a powerful cultural alternative.
COVID-19 has been a health check for the New Zealand Church. Some communities thrived while others atrophied even further. For our community, we found that the key places of health for young adults were around spiritual practices. Those who already held regular rhythms of prayer, mission and hospitality were able to continue life with a similar level of resilience. In fact, many people chose to increase their daily commitment to prayer and/or offer support in the way of food parcels/phone calls to those isolated.
The Church has been through plenty of epidemics, wars and famines before. One thing we said to our young adults at the start of lockdown is “One day your grandkids are going to ask you what the COVID-19 pandemic was like. What will you say to them? Will you say you watched a lot of Netflix and had a holiday or will you be able to tell them that you found new depths of prayer and belonging amidst the uncertainty? Will you be able to tell them that the pandemic was a transformational moment where you fell more in love with Jesus?”
Every crisis presents a hopeful opportunity for us to be transformed.
Rev Scottie Reeve – Wellington Diocese