Finding Leaders

It’s really important to have leaders of both faiths represented at youth dialogue events. Ideally it’ll be someone that the young people already know, i.e. their youth-worker, a teacher or someone from their places of worship. If it’s not someone they already know than ensure they are an approachable sort of person and able to relate well to young people. If you don’t know a potential leader from the other faith then ask someone reliable that you know to recommend someone, and make a time to meet them prior to the event. 

It’s important that any leader you recruit understands and agrees with your ethos, aims and objectives, guidelines for dialogue. Make sure anyone who leads with you has the time before the event to do this and time to voice any concerns. A good leader needs to be willing to speak about their faith and sometimes answer difficult questions, although it’s better the young people are encouraged to answer each other’s questions rather than always ask a leader. Make sure all leaders are CRB checked with an enhanced disclosure and also supply references, even if you know them.

Consider how you can help young people take on leadership roles, particularly those who’ve been to several events. Perhaps give them one or two activities to lead and see how they get on. Make sure they’re well supported and don’t take on too much too soon, but also give them plenty of opportunities.

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