The Youth Report: Growth and Change (June 2016)
Welcome to The Youth Report – the first of an ongoing series which will hopefully help keep you up to date with what is happening in Burpham Church’s youth and children’s ministry. I hope that this brief update will inspire and encourage you!
I was looking back this half term at where our youth and children’s ministry was at this time last year. Last year we were in a relatively stable place in terms of numbers and activities being put on, but we knew that if we were to grow, we would have to step out in faith and make changes. So, last year we ran our first Youth Alpha in the Autumn term, to great success. We started a new youth growth group for school years 7-8, and took our youth on our first trip away together to Spring Harvest in Butlins, where many of our young people connected with God in ways which they hadn’t previously! Holiday Club returned with record numbers in February as we went on a “Super Adventure”. We’ve had the privilege to witness God connecting with so many children and young people, and to be part of their journeys in faith as they discover who God is. We have grown immensely over the past year, and are now currently running around eight groups a week for all children from ages 3 all the way up to 18, including three youth growth groups, Livewire our weekly kid’s club, multiple youth drop ins, and our Sunday Club in the 10:45 service at CHS.
"We all need 'pruning' if we want to be fruitful"
And yet, just like last year, we know that if we want our young people to continue to grow in their faiths, we will have to again make changes and adapt our ministries in order to grow. As Jesus tells us in John 15, we all need “pruning” if we want to be fruitful – and I believe that this principle applies to our ministries, as well as our own spiritual growth. God never wants us just to remain as we are – faith is a journey in which we must constantly be moving closer to our God. It’s a journey that has as many ups as it does downs, one that is constantly filled with change. And so, as we look forward to the summer, and to September, already in the distance we can see some of the changes we will be making. We hope to add at least one more youth growth group for junior aged children, starting in the Autumn term. Youth Alpha will be returning, but most likely in a very different incarnation to last year as we will be aiming to target it towards many of the young people who have joined since we last ran it. We will hopefully be running a Holiday Club Reunion in September, the first of its kind at Burpham! Perhaps our biggest change however, is we will be moving Livewire, our weekly kids club for school years 3-6, from Burpham Primary School to CHS. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Burpham School for being such brilliant hosts for us the past few years, and we have appreciated everything they have done for Livewire. I’m looking forward to seeing that ministry grow and develop in its new home at CHS!
"Whoever abides in me...bears much fruit,"
So, looking forward, I am very excited at what God has in plan for our children and young people. I hope you are as well! Throughout all of this, we must remember as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that it is God who causes growth. We as a church must be constantly praying for our children and young people, that God would continue to move powerfully in their lives as they grow closer to Him. As Jesus finishes in John 15, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” And it’s true – unless God is at the centre of what we are trying to do as a church, and as a youth and children’s team, we may as well be doing nothing at all. I hope that God grows and changes each one of us on this journey with him.
Written by Tom Tame, Youth & Children's Minister
Want to get involved?
There are plenty of ways for you to get involved with being part of the amazing team which makes our youth and children's groups happen. If you would like to volunteer to help out in any format, whether on a rota on in a weekly club, we would love to have you! We also need people to pray for our young people - if this could be you and you would like to recieve updates on things/specific people to pray for, please do get in touch with Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.