New Youth Program

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QuestionAbound
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New Youth Program

Post by QuestionAbound » 29 Sep 2019, 05:27

Has anyone seen the video broadcast yet?
My husband is bishop and so we watched it last night in prep for today.

It sounds like this (keeping in mind that this is to be a program to help our youth become more like the Savior):

Do what you want and when you want.

Ward Council should discuss how each aux. can help implement the program for members in their homes and be supported at church.

That's basically it.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/you ... t?lang=eng

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DarkJedi
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Sep 2019, 06:44

I have seen the video and I agree. I know program is the easiest way to describe it, but it is anything but a program and I believe that is entirely on purpose. Along with other changes, I think this is designed to bring the church closer to its roots.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by nibbler » 29 Sep 2019, 07:55

We're going to watch the video for 5th Sunday in my ward.

Is that all it is then? A chance to say "home centered, church supported" and "covenant path" a few times? ;)

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Re: New Youth Program

Post by nibbler » 29 Sep 2019, 13:46

We watched the video. The presentation was a little rough (we found it boring) but I agree with QuestionAbound, the message was essentially do what you want.

My only concern is based on past experience. First some background. When ministering was introduced it was all about ministering how you want to minister but we continued to struggle to define what it meant to minister in our meetings in the months following the announcement of the program. It eventually landed on HT 2.0, people did less of what they wanted and the program became semi-formal, more structured than intended.

The idea is to have kids set goals and have their families and leaders support them in those goals. That's fine but it's also where my concern creeps in. I sincerely worry that the idea of "goals" will be flipped on its head and church goals will infiltrate the home as opposed to home goals being organically brought to church. And by that I mean I'd prefer it if church doesn't become a place where kids get grilled about how well they are doing with their goals. But I'm not a kid, maybe kids would thrive under that approach.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Sep 2019, 18:51

My wife and I saw it during the second hour. Honestly, it was bittersweet in one way:

If this approach had been in place 5 years ago when my youngest daughter (in high school) started YW, she might be attending now. She would have thrived in this model. As it was, she was bored stiff and lost all desire to attend. Right now, as of about two months ago, she is inactive. She has a solid testimony of the Gospel, knows the scriptures well, loves blessings, and is a wonderful, caring, service-oriented, intelligent young woman - but church bored her to tears, literally.

I am beyond happy about the change. I know it won't run as intended everywhere, but it is a massive improvement over what we have had.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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AmyJ
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by AmyJ » 30 Sep 2019, 06:17

We watched it for the 5th hour as well. I sat with my almost 10 year old daughter.

Messages/Insights/Information I received:
1. The program is changing.
2. The previous programs for receiving merit awards are being phased out. Nothing was mentioned about future merit awards.
3. The activities for the children and youth should start with the personal goals set in several of 4 areas.
4. The family members should be aware of and assist the children and youth in meeting those goals.
5. The YM/YW leaders are important - but their role was not defined.
6. Assistance request chains could potentially go from the child - to the family - to the primary/youth leaders - ward council.

The main impression I got (and my perception could be wrong), is that this new program will be great for those that are very similar to each other in disposition and goals/activities they want to accomplish. Even their film-making example (non-traditional from an LDS perspective) wound up with the rest of the group following the gentlemen who proposed it.

What about the parents/kids who don't want to follow the covenant path? Is there a place for them outside of being rescue material?
Since my daughter was highly displeased that anyone wanted her to have a testimony and would require her to set goals for it (which she did not), this is something to seriously think about.

I am also confused about the message(s) conveyed and received regarding the additional needs children and the program.
a) Kudos to the family that they identified the need of the child and banded together to help him - but what part did the church leaders actually play in the process? I didn't see any (aside from attributing the initial goal-setting by the child, which probably would have happened anyways).
1. Does this mean that the church is backing off from being involved because it is a home-centered program now?
2. Did they include this story because they want to convey a message about being more inclusive and recognizing on paper that children and youth may have diverse needs?

FINAL TALLY:
It felt to me like they were trying to sell me on the new program. Mostly, I got that from President Ballard's remarks, and the Young Men/Young Women Presidents' comments. I did not get the same vibe from the Primary President.

I also wound up with more questions then before I saw the presentation. The information presented did not help answer my questions.

What am I missing?

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DarkJedi
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by DarkJedi » 30 Sep 2019, 07:34

AmyJ wrote:
30 Sep 2019, 06:17
Messages/Insights/Information I received:
1. The program is changing.
Yep, that's what the whole thing is about. With no Scouts and needing a program that fits everywhere in the world, they were presenting what's next. This has actually been years in planning and trials (which is where the videos came from).
2. The previous programs for receiving merit awards are being phased out. Nothing was mentioned about future merit awards.
This is my favorite part of the change on multiple levels. Two of the biggest reasons I like it is 1) it's not a "one size fits all" thing that many kids just weren't interested in doing (that's why there were so few Eagle Scouts) and 2) it's much more reflective of the true gospel - we don't earn our way to heaven. :thumbup: :thumbup:
3. The activities for the children and youth should start with the personal goals set in several of 4 areas.
Four simple areas, at least a goal - chosen by the kid - in each area. This somewhat relates to my comment for your number 2. It's the kid's goal, not my goal, not RMN's goal, etc. That's important. There is a T-Rex in this garden though - the temptation is going to be to set goals for the kid (sometimes under the guise of helping him or her) and/or to programmize. That's a killer.
4. The family members should be aware of and assist the children and youth in meeting those goals.
Agree. This is really the crux of the whole thing. Do not underestimate the home centered part, home centered is first. It is specifically not church centered, home supported as was past practice.
5. The YM/YW leaders are important - but their role was not defined.
They actually have some other resources on the church website that defines their role a bit more, and I think there is more forthcoming. In a nutshell, their role is to help the family and the kid meet the kid's goals but not programmize it. This will force some YM/YW/Primary leaders and teachers to have closer relationships with kids and families than what is currently the norm. It's more about relationships and ministering than it is about program administration. I see this as a positive but again there is a T-Rex in the garden. This is another culture change that will stretch some people (those who love checkboxes and prescribed programs especially) beyond what they might be accustomed to or even willing to do.
6. Assistance request chains could potentially go from the child - to the family - to the primary/youth leaders - ward council.
That chain could exist, but ideally I think it would stop at the family. I'm not sure how much of a role I see for the ward council except perhaps in planning some activities that the entire ward might participate in (such as a large service project).
The main impression I got (and my perception could be wrong), is that this new program will be great for those that are very similar to each other in disposition and goals/activities they want to accomplish. Even their film-making example (non-traditional from an LDS perspective) wound up with the rest of the group following the gentlemen who proposed it.
Interesting. That's not the impression I got, in fact I got just the opposite. I think that's what the old programs were like. I think the ward or YW/YM/Primary could plan activities for specific kids and their specific goals, but that's not their main responsibility. The main responsibility is for the family to do that.
What about the parents/kids who don't want to follow the covenant path? Is there a place for them outside of being rescue material?
Since my daughter was highly displeased that anyone wanted her to have a testimony and would require her to set goals for it (which she did not), this is something to seriously think about.
I think this is where the bigger part of the role of the leadership will come in. I'm honestly a bit leery of it but more because of past experience and culture than anything else. I don't want to be somebody's project (and I made that clear when I was inactive) and I don't know any kid who wants that either. In this case the home centered part could be used as a tool as in "Thanks for your concern and willingness to help. My daughter (son) has some great goals and we're helping her (him) meet them. I'll let you know if I need your help."
I am also confused about the message(s) conveyed and received regarding the additional needs children and the program.
a) Kudos to the family that they identified the need of the child and banded together to help him - but what part did the church leaders actually play in the process? I didn't see any (aside from attributing the initial goal-setting by the child, which probably would have happened anyways).
Home centered, church supported. Some need far less church support (and meddling).
1. Does this mean that the church is backing off from being involved because it is a home-centered program now?
Yes. :clap:
2. Did they include this story because they want to convey a message about being more inclusive and recognizing on paper that children and youth may have diverse needs?
I suppose like scripture stories there's more than one possible message. I think this is one message. Driving home the home centered part is another.
FINAL TALLY:
It felt to me like they were trying to sell me on the new program. Mostly, I got that from President Ballard's remarks, and the Young Men/Young Women Presidents' comments. I did not get the same vibe from the Primary President.

I also wound up with more questions then before I saw the presentation. The information presented did not help answer my questions.

What am I missing?
I'm not sure you're missing much. As I said earlier, it was all about selling the new program. It was an infomercial and like other infomercials it was took way too long to say what could have been said in a very short time. The key to the whole thing is it's not really a program, but it is a new way of doing things and it's going to take some getting used to. I think the questions are just like the question I got very tired of hearing when ministering was introduced. We need to quit waiting for the church to tell us when and how to do everything and then check the box that we did it. Let the kid set his or her goals and go with it. There are going to be bumps in the road and there are going to be leaders and people who really don't get it and try to kill it (on purpose or not). I'm happy to be more of an observer than a participant (my kids are young adults), but like Curt said I think my kids would have thrived much more than they did under a "program" like this.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

nibbler
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by nibbler » 30 Sep 2019, 08:53

My wife's perspective was: They took an hour to say, "We'll have more info in November."
DarkJedi wrote:
30 Sep 2019, 07:34
Let the kid set his or her goals and go with it.
Or the biggie, the one that gets the T-Rex real stompy. Let the kid have no goal at all. Or even leave it at, "my goals are private." I worry that church on Sunday is going to end up being show and tell and reporting on goal progress.

I'm struggling to see how this is revolutionary to the point where it would make a difference in whether a kid remains active or engaged at church. Haven't most wards done the thing where the YM/YW subgroups get together to plan what they'll be doing for the next X months? Our ward has done that for over a decade, much likely far longer. A leader is present but only to help the kids stay focused, not to plan for them. The challenge there was that often only the kids in the presidencies got any input because they were the only ones in the planning meeting.

In a nutshell, what is different?

"You're on your own."

But again, the concern is that church meetings for youth become "What's your goal?" "How are you coming along with your goal?" "How can we help with your goal?" and a kid that isn't inclined to formally set goals or a kid that isn't interested in talking about goals will find church meetings equally boring and even a source of anxiety.

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DarkJedi
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by DarkJedi » 30 Sep 2019, 11:16

Here's my biggest issue with the new thing: boys and girls are still separated almost all the time and from an early age. Why do boys need to be separate from girls at a Primary activity? They're not separated at school (in most places) or other times. Why does the church insist on separating them? I think the same could be said for youth activities. Most youth activities are appropriate for both males and females. My concern is that by separating them, especially at early ages, we are continuing to espouse outdated gender roles that do not exist in the real world of the mid-2000s.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Roy
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Re: New Youth Program

Post by Roy » 30 Sep 2019, 11:45

I suppose I am having program withdrawal. Note that my son did very well under the cub scout program. He was motivated to get merit badges far beyond those required for rank advancement and therefore did some cool activities that would not have been considered otherwise. My daughter wanted to do some of the requirements for the YW/faith in god pin (I forget the name exactly) but not others. She wanted to take an a la carte approach and was not bothered in the least that she would not get the award.

So, given that I am used to working a program as a cub scout leader this transition is hard for me.

What is the point of Wednesday night activities? Sounds like you can go or not go at your option. Most of these activities will do nothing towards moving you forward in your goals. But why even commit to goals in the first place if there is no reward or recognition other than a job well done at the end?

I assume that the point of Wednesday night activities will be mostly for fun and socialization. That is fine.

DW and I will probably sit down with the kids and write down some goals. Mostly of things that the kids are already doing and would have done anyway. For example, my son is in band this year and is starting to play the trombone. one of his goals will most likely be to learn to play the trombone. This way, the kids will have some goals to refer back to when they get asked about it at church. DW and I likewise can show that we are implementing the home program without really doing anything extra.

But it kinda feels like writing stuff down to fit in with people at church that are likewise writing things down.

The pamplet that was handed out in church said that there could be a ring or medalion to accompany the meeting of goals. I wonder if this is open to family to come up with? Ward leadership? Stake leadership? Might we have some wards or stakes giving out tie clips or necklaces for achievement and others not? DW suggested we take our kids out to ice cream when they complete their goals. Maybe that is not a bad idea.

Additional thought. This looks like it will cut down on needed leaders to staff the program. Cub scouts is gone. In my area we have 7 called to support cub scouts. Activity days has 6 (2 called from each ward). That is 13 people that can now be used elsewhere. I read that the pre-YM/YW age kids might get together every other week. Girls may be seperate from boys or may be combined depending on the needs of the area. I have always felt that the way that we do things takes an inordinant amount of manpower.

I suppose, what I would really love to see is a catlogue of success stories that would pique the interest and imagination of the types of goals that other kids have had and where they went with it.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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