We held a great listening workshop at Joel’s Bar, a youth conference held in Worth Abbey annually

After a fun game of 'Politician or Boy Band?', the group shared experiences about how they have found politics.

How off-putting/exciting do you find politics?

The views of the group were very varied. On the one hand, people expressed the view that we are living in an interesting and turbulent political period with the election of Donald Trump and continuing Brexit negotiations -- as such it is vital to take politics seriously. What is more another person added that encountering a politician can be a good experience.

On the other hand, many in the group expressed a number of reservations about politics. They felt that a culture often emerged where people and the public are misled. Moreover others felt politics to be intimidating in that specialist knowledge is required. In addition it was felt that there is often religious illiteracy among politicians as society grows more secularised.

Faith and politics

We then came to talk about the relation between faith and politics, kicked off by watching Beth, Jenna and Amy make the case for how politics and faith are intertwined.

This led to fascinating discussion about whether, and in what way, Jesus was political. Although not party political, we discussed the sense in which Jesus was radically political. He led by example, often with great savyness. He embodied a counter cultural servant leadership with a large grass-roots following, participants observed.

Finally the group turned to reflect on their own situations --- was the Lord calling them into politics?

In particular we meditated on John 1:38:

‘….the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned around, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher – ‘where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied

The group prayed over what they most wanted to see change in our communities, reflecting on the question of 'What do you want?'.  Then we reflected on what Jesus is calling us to ‘Come and See’?