Posts Tagged ‘youth’

if we lose this generation:

If we lose this generation of young people from God’s kingdom:

It wont be because we challenged them too much, but because we challenged them too little.
It wont be because we asked too much of them, but because we didn’t believe in them enough.
It wont be because we pushed them too much, but because we didn’t dare them enough.
It wont be because our teaching isn’t relevant enough, but because it’s not radical enough.
It wont be because of the expression of our worship, but because of the reason why we worship.
It wont be because we’ve made the life of faith too complicated, but because we’ve made it too comfortable.
It wont be because we haven’t been responsible enough, but because we haven’t trusted them with responsibility.
It wont be because our church isn’t culturally relevant enough, but because our church isn’t culture changing enough.

If we lose this generation from the kingdom of God
It wont be because we haven’t made the Gospel simple enough, but because we haven’t made it life changing enough.

Because we haven’t believed, I mean really believed in the life-changing power of Scripture, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit who longs to guide them on the adventure which is the life of faith.

Standing on Grace


REACHING & DISCIPLING (vision for presbytery of Derry and Donegal youth)

Hi, so a month ago i was asked to be convener (in-charge of) the youth (13-25) in the area of Derry and Donegal for the Presbyterian Church here, so most of my thinking lately has been around this. i’ve felt frustrated, overjoyed and over burdened all at once and even thinking that what i’m asked to do is an awesome chance for influence and for creating a culture of discipleship and mission in our churches in the NW of Ireland.  anyway i was presenting my vision to the ministers and Elders tonight, just home and thought i’d up load it for some thoughts etc!!! 
would appreciate your prayers (if you’re the praying kind) and your thoughts (by commenting or FB or email) 
this is my presentation more or less word for word (i had response sheets and powerpoint of course also) 
standing on Grace! 

Moderator and folk:

The 2nd book of the Bible, we know it by it greek name ‘Exodus’, that name only came around 300BC, before that it had a Hebrew title, they called it ‘Names’. Though this was a story of a movement of 2m people out of Egypt and into, eventually, the promise land, God knew all their names!  Think of Romans, the apostle Paul taking us through the big sweep of salvation yet look at the last chapter, “greet Priscilla and Aquila, Epenetus and Mary”. Or even the whole gospel of John where John makes it clear that Jesus wanted to engage in conversation with the individual and small groups, God didn’t send His son to dictate from the top of Mt Everest, no, the word became flesh and moved right into the village.
So youth ministry is not about finding a program for the average youth club size multiplied by the number of churches we have in this presbytery but about it’s about Lauren Ferguson, Paul Lamberton, Robert Edwards, Fiona Alexander, Keith Blackburn, Joshua Carr, youth ministry is about David Chambers. 
Not only is this a deeply Biblical idea but also a rooted presbyterian idea, that when Daniel was Baptised in Fahan (my) Church I promised not as a youth leader, not as an Exodus staff member not as a friend but as a member of the same church that I would ensure that he was given a chance at accepting Jesus as Lord.

Since I’ve been asked me to consider this role there has been a roller-coaster of thought and conversations. We all know the challenges and where we are at the moment, so I’ll not concentrate our time on that or on those conversations instead I’ll try to present the vision, the big dream, of which you have a vital input into today, and then I and others will think how do we start small in achieving this!

2 things things to watch out for:

  • That youth work doesn’t become the evangelical wing of the presbytery, it’s the ministers job to ensure the church is Christ centered.  The youth work will help this happen but it’s not it’s role.
  • That youth work is not a separate issue from normal church life.  It has to be woven into the fabric of Church structure. 

Mission statement.
I find having something to focus us helps the work not bounce around.  But stay on target.

So here’s what I believe this role should focus on.

‘To encourage the Church, in reaching and discipling young people (13-25), in their area, in the grace, truth and example of Jesus.’

We need to see the church’s youth ministry looking outward, we’d all agree that we need to see it growing, we need to see Jesus being declared King of more and more young lives in our communities.

Our Reached or church youth to have a deeper faith, we need to see young people fully embracing the life of Christ, and this is happening there’s young people praying prayers that I’d love to hear pastors pray, and they have vision and they’re passionate about getting equipped to see this vision take place

We need to see youth ministry as part of the fabric of the church.  We need to see youth ministry connecting with the sacraments, something that the whole church is involved in.  And we also need to be part of the local body of Christ.  

I am more of a Kingdom advocate than a denomination advocate.  
We need to see the Presbyterian Christian’s in Letterkenny getting to know, worshiping and serving along side the Baptist church, Portuguese, the Christian fellowship.  As these are the guys they go to school with, will go to uni with, will get jobs along side, and will marry.  
Why take your youth from Ballykelly to worship and fellowship with other christians from donegal town and forget about the Christian who meet under a methodist banner across the street?  In saying that I understand the need for Presbyterian events and ethos to be promoted and attended however I thought I would slightly over state my case to make the point clear.  ‘The EDGE’ in Letterkenny is the best example of an inter-church group focused on deepening the faith and sense of community in the Christian youth in that area, and around half of the organizers of ‘The EDGE’ are Presbyterian.

So practically How does this look?
Some of this will be organized and envisioned by the working group and may change, be extended or reduced, from my proposal but here we go.  My main role is influence.  We want to see young people being reached and discipled in every church including our own and your own. 

Mentoring program:
To be introduced into churches for first communicants, so this young person is brought up in the church or reached by the church, professes Christ, and they are a Christian. (I know that’s slightly controversial here but for the sake of Vision I had to pretend that someone who goes forward for communion wants to continue in the life of Christ) Then after the first communion a member of church, (preferable not a youth leader), walks with the young Christian for a while. Say, meeting up every week for 4 months then intentionally less often, they shows them the ropes, like their Christian coach, prays for them, walks with them and finds out their gifts and passes that on to the session who can then use those gifts in the ongoing mission of the Church.

360 Network 
Initiate a network of the main Christian youth influencers (principles, youth leaders, BB/GB) Learning community, dedicated to the Vision and Values of Jesus, Learning from each other and creating a culture of youth Discipleship in our Schools, Churches and programs.

Localised inter-church events
Letterkenny – ‘the EDGE’

Derry and strabane – need for one there
Ballykelly – (not familiar with things up there so can’t comment too much)
Donegal Town – Possible need

Training and resourcing events 4/5 in year… Small group, mentoring, child protection, outreach, how to push your youth club deeper

Outreach festivals
Could be facilitated by the wider body but working for the indivdual churches.

So say Strabane here wanted to do intentional outreach here in Strabane town we could organise a day festival with them helping them reach youth here in strabane.

1 Presbytery Youth night (for youth fellowship folk)
Professional event, youth to receive opportunities to share testimonies etc in local events this has got a bit of a wow factor to it!  It’s big.

1 Presbytery sports night (for youth club folk)
To give some youth clubs a sense of outing, and to help non-church youth in youth clubs to feel a part of the church and to here the gospel

Spud Youth night bus
We’ll run a bus; if you send the youth.

Possibly camps, Weekends, social events like festive feast (that Kilfenen young adults organise.


So that’s the vision as I can see but I need your input, and advice!

So if you’d like to get into groups of 4 and answer the questions I’ll guild you through:

  1. What are you most passionate to see happen, that was presented in the vision? And why?
  2. How could we as a group serve you in your area in Reaching and Discipling young people?
  3. How can we together make the Vision of Reaching and Discipling work in Derry and Donegal

Any questions that people would like to ask vocally? Or comments.

Thanks; you are more fruitful than you realise.

I would appreciate your prayers for this.

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