Can you offer suggestions on ways to strengthen our youth programs and the involvement of families?
Many of our communities have followed the good suggestions given in the ECK works, yet often we see a lack of commitment from parents. Also, for local areas, do you have a priority list of youth activities and events? For example, first improve the youth Satsang classes, then the ECK Light and Sound Services, etc.? In short, is it better to do one thing well than to do more than one partly well?
We’d like any insights and suggestions. Thank you!
Your questions show a sincere interest in how to better serve ECK youth. I commend you.
A ready guide to help you is already in your hands. The guidelines ECK Youth Leader’s Guide is a treasury full of ideas and suggestions that address many of your concerns.
In the chapter “How to Start,” see especially the section “Tips for Getting Started.”
The next chapter, “Keys to Building Youth and Family Programs,” treats key ECK functions in its three sections. It builds from the ground up. It deals with the ECK Satsang, the ECK Light and Sound Service, and opportunities for youth leadership and service.
In it, you’ll find many nuggets of wisdom.
The chapter “ECK Activities That Build Spiritual Community” holds a wealth of information. Read it carefully. You’ll avoid many false starts and unnecessary effort.
As for the other part of your two-pronged question, follow an old principle of the ECK Masters: Do what you do, do well.
Everyone likes a winner.
Thank you for your love and concern for the ECK youth. They are the future. Help them reach spiritual greatness by showing them how to lend service to God and life.
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In our area we have offered youth Satsangs and participation at our local and state events; however, the young people and families seem to be uninterested, or only briefly interested.
This lack of interest by youth has dimmed the enthusiasm of many of our volunteers. How can we build bridges and enliven our approach to seekers, youth, and families?
Your guidance and wisdom would be so greatly appreciated.
You point out an intricate and difficult issue. Several things are going on. There certainly are the many distractions that have more glitter than the prospect of buckling down to a long, disciplined study of the ECK teachings.
Another matter would be the Arahata. Is it someone in sync with young people, who still keeps true to the sacred teachings?
Finally, there is the factor of our current approach to instructing our young. Does it need refreshing? There is little doubt that our teaching methods will evolve to serve the changing interests of people. But is it now?
So the question is, when? And how thorough will our research have to be for refreshing our study program for the ECK youth?
Surely, feedback from successful teachers would be helpful to the ECKANKAR Spiritual Center. Which practices do the classes particularly like? Which are so-so? Strong considerations, too, are the opportunities for fellowship and youth service.
We’d love to hear from you.
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As we look at the future of ECKANKAR, many of us and our fellow chelas are getting older. How would you recommend making ECKANKAR available to young people and ECK families, especially in regions that have few or no young ECKists?
Your concern about the aging membership of ECKANKAR is also mine and that of others like you.
A big player in today’s society is the electronic medium, which brings with it many conveniences. But it also means great changes in how people are willing to allot their free time.
Do contemporary young people see value in setting aside twenty to thirty minutes a day for the Spiritual Exercises of ECK? This is an essential discipline.
Or will the attraction of social media prove to be a more enticing call?
Time will tell.
For our part, we must develop programs that take full advantage of all the new Vahana outlets now available to us in the electronic universe.
Yet in no way dare we “dumb down” the ECK teachings in an attempt to attract young seekers. They would be of the wrong kind, who would cause unhappiness for all. So please let your RESA know of your successes and failures in reaching young people in your own communities.
We are all in this together.
—Sri Harold Klemp
Ask the Inner Master how you can help create or support an engaging, interactive and spiritually rewarding youth-and-family culture in your ECK community. Then talk with your RESA.
It can begin with the smallest step.