It is something many churches can do Flexible timing and venue It is fun both to lead and to attend It is a wholesome activity whole families can do together – we can reach Mum and Dad as well as children It meets the need for community and belonging It is culturally appropriate – learning by doing not by listening God is doing a new thing
In an average week how many children attended your church in 2010 and 2013? 0-3 2-11 0-5 3-6 0-6 3-8 0-10 4-8 0-14 5-9 1-8 6-22 2-6 10-35
How many groups for 0s-11s are there? 54 Sunday Schools 15 After School Clubs 10 Messy Churches 9 Toddler Groups 8 Other groups (e.g. choirs, God for Kids) 96 groups in total Across 347 churches About 25% of the churches some sort of group (75% do not)
How many children are we in touch with on a regular basis? total av children per group Sunday Schools 466 9 After School Clubs 204 14 Messy Churches 179 18 Toddler Groups 155 17 Others 233 29 Total 1237 13 This is about a 10% increase on the previous survey in 2011/12
But what about secondary school aged children? If we make provision for up to 11 year olds but not for 12+ then they get the message they are expected to leave when they are 12 They have ‘grown out of’ church Our aim must be to raise large numbers of 18 year old life-long Christians who will be the next generation- leaders
Number of teenagers The diocesan survey in 2011/12 found about 900 children and 225 teenagers That is an average of about 75 younger children per school year And an average of about 30 teenagers per school year Probably there are more 13 year olds than 14s etc The majority of the children stop going to church as they grow up
How many teens groups? 2011/12 survey 63 teenagers in 9 Sunday groups 213 in 10 weekday groups A total of 17 churches out of 347 95% of churches had no group for teens
Developing church for teens Our first responsibility is to the children growing up in our own groups It is usually best to build from the inside out – starting with church young people rather than with detached youth clubs The best evangelists with young people are other young people Don’t be afraid to do ‘God’ and ‘Church’ with teens – they may well be much more open spiritually than are older people
Our village – Eyam, population c1200 Sunday church attendance average c120 Including 6-12 teens They lead the worship monthly Are on the sound desk/data projector/ camera rota Have their own Sunday teaching group & weeknight group Raise money for Tear Fund Are being seen as role models by village parents!
Our village – Eyam, population c1200 Now we have received an anonymous donation of £70,000 We are not putting it into a fabric fund, a rainy day fund or parish share!!!!!! We are applying for a diocesan grant to add to it And intend to appoint a full time paid youth minister Who will help us plant and grow church for young people (teens & 20s?) in Eyam and the surrounding area, working with neighbouring churches as well as our own, as a gift to them
Youth Ministry is usually best done together Many churches can do something for children by themselves But almost all need to work with others to provide something good for teenagers Scarborough Rock A youth hub for every Ministry Area? So that the group, activity or church for young people is on the programme of every church
Young Adults Question: I have just had a look at the Club 18-30 and the SAGA Holiday websites. Which one am I more likely to book? Question: Which one would attract a 21 year old? How can we offer church to young adults in an appropriate culture with a good peer group? So far we don’t have many local good news stories to tell But here is one I made earlier………………..
So here is a challenge Can we start a new sort of church for young adults at least in each of four main population areas of the diocese? Llanelli Carmarthen Haverfordwest – Milford Haven Aberystwyth Something different would probably be appropriate in each area Would a diocesan appointment be needed to be a catalyst? Do you have a vision?
What are the key couple of things you have picked up from this conference that are relevant to the churches where you are? What will you think about trying or implementing over the next year?