Anita Cloete: youth culture

winterskool-anita-cloeteDr Anita Cloete

Dr Anita Cloete was a session speaker at this years Winter School in Stellenbosch. She started off by reframing the topic. The question according to her, is not “how can we make the youth feel at home in church? but rather, “What can we learn from young people about what church is?”.

She made 2 main points:

  • Youth are not a homogenous group

 

The church should be and look diverse if it wants to include and serve a diverse youth. She asked the question how we can practically become more diverse and including and she made some suggestions.

  • Teenagers live in a time of transition…

 

She also explained that teenage life is a good metaphor for the church. As teenagers are living in a time of transition, the church should also live in a a place of transition (change, movement, and not knowing everything, questioning, etc.) We are embodying something of the kingdom but we are also pointing to the Coming Kingdom.

Dr Cloete reminded me that we cannot generalize when speaking about the youth. There are many sub-cultures. After her talk I am left with the question – how well do I know the youth in my community?