Developing & Nurturing Next Generation Mandir Leadership - Shri Shree Patel (s07b-4)

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  • 1. Session 7B Building a Community Developing and Nurturing Next Generation Mandir Leadership Shree Patel Anoopam Mission, PA September 11-13, 2009
  • 2. Introduction
    • Engaging and developing next generation leaders is critical for our future
    • The 2 nd Generations mindset and needs are significantly different than that of their parents
    • Its important to take a systematic approach to nurturing the next generation
    • Progress can best be made by actively involving them in mandir activities/leadership at an early stage
  • 3. A Picture of the Future Observations Within 3 decades, Gen.-II population will start declining. Hindu population will start stabilizing at around 3.3 million. Of these 2/3 rd will be from 1 st generation. A large number of these people will be in the elderly category.
  • 4. Increasing Focus on Generation-II Growth Phase-I (Protecting) Helping primarily Generation-I Focus laid on rituals & asset building Phase-II (Sustaining) Helping Generation-II & Generation-I Focus - Meeting needs of Gen-II while continuing to perform existing services Phase-III (Growing) Helping Generation-II & non-Hindus Focus Meeting needs of larger American society & offering solutions rooted in Dharma Time 2005 2015
  • 5. Understanding Them
    • They are usually more liberal than their parents
    • Blind faith doesnt work they need scientific explanations
    • They detest hypocrisy
    • Role models they respect are supremely important
    • Often feel stifled by older generation
    • Social interaction with other youth and fun activities are KEY
    • A positive peer group creates a virtuous cycle
    • Once focused, they are extremely determined
    • Their first bridge to bhakti is their parents
  • 6. A Systematic Approach
    • Annual & semi-annual Youth Camps serve as a focal point
    • Quality time with saints and sadhus personalizes the philosophy
    • Specifically involve the youth in planning and execution of mandir activities increases involvement
    • Utilize technology such as weekly sabha conference calls, discussion boards, Facebook etc to maintain continuous contact
    • Formalized leadership training helps them to take the next step
  • 7. Encouraging Active Participation
    • It is important for them to feel like their voices are heard
    • Delegation of responsibility to them encourages a sense of ownership
    • Patience and understanding are important for they will make mistakes
    • We must keep an open mind for many of their ideas are novel
    • Creating a mix of seva, education and fun achieves a variety of developmental aims
  • 8. Conclusion
    • The 2 nd Generation has a thirst for spirituality but struggles to connect
    • We can aid them by providing:
      • Positive role models in the form of saints, sadhus & peers
      • Scientific explanations regarding our philosophy
      • A nurturing environment geared towards their needs and mindset
      • Opportunities to serve and take leadership
      • Patience and acceptance


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