One of the most significant bridges for our young people is the gap between youth group and church.
Research presented by the Moore College’s CMD reports that there is a significant drop off in church involvement in the later teen years.
We all know that this is a fragile time, with all kinds of pressures.
So what do we do? Firstly, we pray. For what appears fragile from our perspective is not at all from God’s. Those he has hold of are secure in his vice-like grip.
Secondly, we work hard to develop the faith of our young people in ways which will help them bridge the gap to adulthood.
This will only be done through his word in their hearts in the fellowship of Christian community.
The fellowship we have as Christians is crucial, and helping our youth thrive in community is vital. That’s why we make our youth group, ‘Alive’, as good as possible.
But there’s also another factor that can help our youth stay connected to church: the time of the group.
We run ‘Alive’ on Saturday nights at 7.30 to 9.30pm because we want the youth of our church to first attend an intergenerational church at 5pm and then have an all-age dinner at 6.30pm with people young and old.
It means that it’s a big night for our teenagers, but it also means that there is a healthy integration between the generations.
Plus, we’re strengthening the discipleship that happens at times other than Saturday night, so that the youth can be further strengthened to go the distance.
Being part of church is being part of God’s family, with everybody of all ages. We are looking forward to helping our young people experience that as they grow into a lifelong of faith in Christ.
Simon Chaplin and Jodie McNeill