By Adam Burns
THE return from holidays had us ready for a new, exciting year of ministry.
Our office returned from holidays on January 5 after the break however much of our team has been out of the office at different conferences, camps and forums for most of January.
Over the past two weeks I spent time in Sydney for the Marist Youth Festival, at Mt Tamborine for the Ignite Summer Camp and then assisted the Marist Youth Ministry team with its student leaders forum.
Meanwhile, other members of our team were present at Ignite’s School of Music, NET (National Evangelisation Teams) Ministries’ initial training at the Sunshine Coast, and at Marian Valley supporting the Albany Creek and Banyo-Nundah Youth Leadership retreat.
Next week our team members will be working with menALIVE for a Padua Year 12 retreat.
It has been a very busy start to the year.
Our movements correspond with one of the priorities of Vocation Brisbane: to be wherever young people are.
But why be so invested in our young people?
Our youth and young adults are faced with a “transitory” culture.
Everything about their world is moving and changing at a rapid pace.
In 2012, a survey in the United States showed that workers spent on average 4.4 years in a job.
It is forecasted that this generation will have four careers before the age of 30 and the job they have in their forties doesn’t even exist yet.
It is critical that young people know and understand God’s call in their lives.
I was in Year 10 when I began to feel the pressure of choosing a career or study path.
The pressure came from family members, from school, from peers – all asking the same question: what are you going to do with your life?
Add to this the constant barrage of societal pressures of being a teenager – binge drinking, relationships and sex, drugs, and simply maintaining a cool reputation.
It was a lot to deal with and, by the time I hit Year 12, I was ready to give up on school and felt apathetic toward my future.
Fortunately for myself I was impacted by both a NET Ministries team and a Vocations Brisbane Quo Vadis weekend which I attended.
These experiences helped me to realise that my life did matter, that I could make a difference and that it was important for me to care about my life.
In many ways, our young people are set up to fall for the traps of apathy and hopelessness.
Our young people need a message of hope, one that says “you matter.”
God’s call is this message: your life and your choices make a difference in the Church and the world.
It’s important that our young people hear this message; and not just from the Vocations team or youth ministers, but from all people in their lives.
It’s important for us to remind ourselves daily that God’s call is more than a state of life.
Vocation is the whole-life challenge to reflect God’s love in our world.
Our world needs that hope now.
Adam Burns is a vocations officer for Vocation Brisbane.