BY: Anna Kathryn Simmons
It’s Not a Conference. It’s a Conversation.
Cultivate: A Thoughtful Youth Ministry Conversation | Jan 24-25, 2019
Dr. Andy Root: Why we should be talking to youth about racism, gender & sexuality, and mental health.
Many youth workers today are feeling stranded with hard questions regarding their youth’s realities. Realities of gender and sexuality, mental health, and present-day racism. While the church at large seems to be focusing on high-level doctrine, youth and youth workers are left without answers or the support and freedom to have real dialogue about what their youth are facing.
Andy Root, renowned author and youth ministry expert, will be partnering with Cultivate as a main Dialogue Partner to help lead our conversations about these important topics.
“A lot has changed on how we think about gender and sexuality, but really about how we think about identity. One’s gender identity and one’s sexual identity are all open realities right now [for young people]. I don’t think anyone in ministry can ignore this topic, but for sure, if you are in youth ministry, you cannot. We really have to have a conversation so that we are prepared to lead the church in the conversation.”
“I definitely don’t have all the answers…The issues are much bigger than us and youth ministry, but youth ministry can start the conversation” Andy Root
When asked why it is important for us to talk about racism and nationalism with teenagers, Andy responded, “Well, a huge reason to have the conversation is because the conversation isn’t happening at all. We are at a weird time. The issues are much bigger than us and youth ministry, but youth ministry can start the conversation. Getting a handle on what nationalism is and what it’s doing to us, and hearing about the experiences of racism and how those of us with privilege need to respond, it is all very important. My great hope is that Cultivate cultivates the beginning of this conversation.”
At Cultivate, we hope to create safe space for you to have open dialogue about these topics we cannot ignore. We invite you to join us, a group of youth workers along with trusted experts, not for answers, but rather for a community who shares the same passion for students as you do; for a community who has wisdom to share and the humility to question; for a community who wants the Spirit to guide discussion and discourse.
Main Session Conversations
During Main Session Conversations, we will hear from our lead Dialogue Partners and have roundtable discussions as we focus on real-life youth ministry case studies. You will have the chance to hear multiple solutions from different youth ministry contexts as well as the wisdom from other experts in the room. Cultivate also offers 9 Unconventional Workshops that have been redesigned to allow for multiple presenters to share their wisdom while giving ample time for group discussion and problem-solving.
Join the Conversation, January 24-25 in Nashville, TN.
We want your voice at the table as we gather to cultivate thoughtful conversations, together.