- Insight from a Board Member: Pocket of Excellence
- Insight from a Board Member: Death of the Committee
- Insight from a Board Member: Fitnah Meter
- Insight from a Board Member: Talent Aggregator
- Insight from a Board Member: Great User Experience
- Insight from a Board Member: Youth Engagement
- Insight from a Board Member: Servanthood vs. Leadership
“Keep us on the Straight Path”
One of the consistent complaints most communities have is the lack of youth activities and youth participation. This will be one of the easier blogs to write. It is somewhat of a checklist. In order to engage the next generation ask yourself whether or not you have the following:
-Youth Director that is knowledgeable and relevant and shares their experiences. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this position. You really need a highly competent individual.
– 33%-66% of the Board of Directors under the age of 40.
– 50% of the Board born and raised in the United States.
– At least 1 or 2 Shura members under the age of 30.
– Khateebs that are fluent in English, have sound Knowledge, and were raised with local high school experiences.
– A great lineup of programming targeted at the youth to help them deal and talk about their issues in a non judgemental fashion to people with similar experiences.
– A great line up of purely fun and social activities with no hidden agenda of selling them on religion.
– A place other than the masjid dedicated to the youth. [Roots Center is a great working example of this – www.rootsprogram.com]
– A general focus on love of Allah swt and good character per the Prophetic example rather than excessive focus on Halal and Haram. All parts of the religion are critical, however, there is a time and place for everything. It takes patience and wisdom to transmit this message.
– Material support for their ideas and their organizations. Stop saying no.
– Acceptance and Love. Prayer.
This is what has worked for us.
What won’t work is that you think Private Islamic School and Weekend Islamic School alone will be adequate. They are necessary components in an overall product offering, and they will service a small segment of the population. This is not about cultural preservation. These kids are All American. It is about love of Allah and following the Prophetic example. Without all the pieces in place, you are not creating a habitat in which the youth will be engaged and will flourish. The youth will not be you.
Also, your children will be that which you secretly worship. So check yourself. Love of this world, money, prestige, power etc is not lost on your children. They see what society values. So stop chasing it. And lead by example.
I should not even be writing this. At 36, I’m too old to be relevant.