Nurturing early growth
Where are the spaces in your community that enable faith conversation to flourish?
During lockdown young people were the key players in terms of connecting with one another – how can we realise the potential of young people to share the Good News?
Across the country there are early signs of a new type of growth in youth and children’s ministry. In part as a result of the recent pandemic, but also picking up on a movement which was already underway, there is a growing recognition of the need to engage with people where they are. At the same time, we have seen restrictions in access to those places. According to Dan Randall, from Hope Together UK, young people are saying, “we’re the ones going into schools – we are the ones that need equipping” – something we call peer to peer evangelism or chaplaincy. A critical part of nurturing early growth in Christians of all ages is equipping them to be secure in talking about their own faith and be confident in describing their own understanding in relation to the questions their peers may throw at them.
Peer to peer evangelism can happen quite naturally in an environment where people are safe and encouraged. Therefore, it’s important to create opportunities for mission and provide space for people to practise communicating their faith. It is not about expecting young people to do everything but journeying with them and standing beside them; work with leaders to enable opportunities to try it out so they can gain experience and confidence.
Peer to peer does not mean expecting each age group to look after itself – we are all peers of one another and need to take the role of both learner and teacher. As we are reminded by the apostle Paul writing to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” 1 Timothy 4.12.
In many ways there is not much new in this, as it mirrors well the learning and recommendations of the ‘Rooted in the Church’ report from 2018 see dofn.org/rooted.
You might like to:
- Create a space where young people can post things online about their faith, using a church account rather than their own, so they can try it out without fear of social media shaming.
- Approach the local school to see if you can help facilitate some faith discussions.
- Create opportunities in church to discuss difficult questions and learn to articulate your faith and beliefs.
- Get a group together to attend the Youth Evangelism Conference see theyec.uk
The encouraging thing is that, although through lockdown we have seen people leave, the young people that are left are more determined to still be attached to church, and they may be more fearless…
This article is from...
Articles in this issue...
Two churches in the Diocese are set for a major cash boost as the recipients of the Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund.More
Welcoming new residents
Housing developments are happening everywhere, Horsford is no exception. Just six miles north from the centre of Norwich, it is a place to which couples and young families are keen to move.More
VAT is a grey area… but let us add a little colour!
Parochial Church Councils come within the scope of registration for VAT. Whether they do so in practice depends on the extent to which they supply items which are taxable. In most cases, the taxable turnover will not be great enough to call for registration. Some expenditure that most of our PCCs have are listed below, some of which attract reduced or zero-rated VAT.More
The stable which became an Easter Garden
They are many of us saying this – but it is true: ‘We have tried new things because of the pandemic – and there are some things that we want to keep.’More
Faithful band of pilgrims at Easter
Great Yarmouth Minster is blessed with a set of Stations of the Cross paintings set in our townMore
Thinking about heating?
Before you go any further with a heating project, you should carefully review your current situation.More
Opportunities to enrich your regular routine
‘Becoming’ is a process; it takes time, and the process itself is the key benefit.More
Continuing the journey
This spring, our PCC and congregation at All Saints, Chedgrave, were delighted to discover that they had achieved a bronze eco-award.More
Bronze award pursued
St Mary’s Church, Kelling, is a Grade II listed building set in a large churchyard in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Norfolk coast.More
Easier than you may think
Churches complete the unique online Eco Survey about how they are caring for God’s Earth in different areas of their life and work.More