Lessons Young People Learned at GC12

Yoshiro Nakajima, a youth worker from the Cal/Nevada Conference, was one of a handful of professional youth workers to attend General Conference 2012.  (By the way, where are the youth workers at General Conference?  Our guess is that you are busy planning you summer mission trips and busy doing the stuff of youth ministry when your Annual Conference selects GC delegates…)  Each night after worship ended, young people (and those who love young people) would meet as an informal, unofficial caucus to discuss the church and the future for young people.  In Yoshi’s words, here are a few lessons learned:

The young people who attended our meeting last night were asked (by Yoshi),

“What would you like to tell yourself of the future (30 years)?”

Here are their answers…

  • Remember being young.
  • Remember that All Means All!
  • Stop going to GC and let someone else take your place.
  • 10 o’clock dance parties everyday.
  • If you’re stressed out, you’re doing something wrong.
  • Don’t be afraid to feel, you have a conscience for a reason.
  • There is a youth here smarter than you. Find them!
  • Don’t forget to meet Christ in the poor.
  • Speak the truth IN THE MOMENT. Don’t let fear silence you.
  • Don’t let those darn kids destroy any of your sacred cows!
  • Remember to take long walks with family and friends
  • Resist the urge to conform to the status quo and reject the errors of it’s way.
  • Avoid using complex rhetoric to make recommendations for change in the church.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak the truth. God is on your side.
  • I will be active in identifying, reaching out to, and supporting young people. At local, conference, extension and general level.
  • Remember the core passions you have for this church, no matter how differently they are expressed now.

What advice to yourself in 30 Years would you give regarding General Conference?



About the Contributor: Yoshiro Nakajima

Yoshiro will stand by his youth even if it means he’s standing alone (w/Jesus).  He recently represented the good looking-young-asian-male caucus at General Conference 2012.  Yoshiro hopes that his work empowers youth and also helps create space within the church for their future.


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