Called to Lead: Audio Talk from the YMG National Conference
The Young Men of God Movement (YMG) held its annual national conference last month on Collaroy beach in NSW. About 150 men aged from 16-35 came for the weekend. Given that this is the demographic (young adult males) least represented in our parishes on a Sunday, this gathering and the movement itself are making a really important contribution to the Church in Australia. I’ve been a chaplain to the Melbourne group for several years now and really enjoy being part of the national conference.
At the conference this year I was asked to speak about leadership. I’ve attached the audio below so you can listen to the talk. I began by providing a context for this conversation about leadership and the need for young men to step up and lead by giving a couple of examples from our culture where men have failed to lead. I then reflected upon Rembrandt’s image of the father in his rendition of the story of the Prodigal Son, and what insights into leadership we might gain from his painting. Then I opened up the story of Gideon, suggesting that this story might be a paradigm for young men today who are called to lead. The thrust of the talk: that young men can make a difference to our culture. And that God and the rest of us need them to stand up and be the men that they are called to be.
I also used the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt in the talk: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”