In his excellent research into Young Adults engagement with church, David Kinnaman makes an interesting observation saying, “even though the childhood and early adolescent years are the time during which the spiritual and moral compasses are calibrated, the experimental and experiential decade from high school to the late twenties is the time when a young person’s spiritual trajectory is confirmed and clarified.” In our current cultural climate, it is in these years that our churches find themselves with the greatest challenge of passing on a faith that is able to sustain Young Adults through the season of experimentation and experience.
Glorious Dust Young Adults conference was birthed out of a desire to see young adults from across Fresh Hope engage deeply in wrestling with the questions, doubts and uncertainties that surround how following Jesus makes sense in all of life. Is the gospel big enough to deal with the complexity of the world in which we now engage? Does my discipleship have anything to say about my calling and career? Does the church matter in the public sphere of ideas and debates that surround and dominate me daily in the media cycle? In an environment which strives to convince us that faith is merely private and personal, it is a pressing need for the church to help young adults discover the Kingdom story, one in which faith is not only central, but integrated in all of life.
On November 10th around 100 young adults from across Sydney, ACT, South Coast and Central Coast gathered to explore these questions and ideas at Glorious Dust. It was a day of deep challenge and encouragement for those who were there. We were joined by Matt Destry (Co-Senior Pastor, Discovery Church VIC), Scott Sanders (CEO Common Grace), Anne Simpson (Fresh Hope), Neridah Morris (SEED & Thread Harvest) and Brooke Prentis (Indigenous Leader and Co-ordinator of Grasstree Gathering) as keynote speakers. Throughout the day we explored cultural engagement and faithfulness in exile, journey of transformation, social engagement and faith in the public sphere as well as how the kingdom vision of Jesus shapes creativity and business.
Our hope throughout the day was that those present would be reminded and inspired by a captivating picture of a discipleship that richly engages with our world and current context and is able to not only sustain individuals but offer hope to our neighbourhoods, communities and world. It is our hope that across our movement we would see young adults refuse to settle for an idle faith of privatised religion, but would long for an authentic following of Jesus that shines like lights in the dark. As Skye Jethani so beautiful states, “The greatest resource God has given this planet are his redeemed and spirit filled people. Our job is not to collect and protect them like animals in a zoo, but to equip and release them into the wild of the world… to manifest the reign of Christ wherever they are.”
If you would like to hear the recordings from Glorious Dust or to find out what is coming up in 2019 for Young Adults across Fresh Hope, please take a look at our Facebook Page.