More than half of young people growing up in church stop attending before they are eighteen.
The starting point is a question familiar to many churches and families – how do we help our teenagers develop a deep and resilient Christian faith that meets the challenges of today’s world?
If we are to nurture the next generation of committed Christians who are actively engaged in generosity, then we need to examine the barriers and redefine youth ministry to help overcome them.
What’s the problem?
Young people are facing different pressures from even a few years ago. Discipleship and youth ministry have to to keep up with the issues young people are facing in the world today – one where there are existential threats like the climate and European war, and where the cost-of-living crisis is the current number one worry for young people, not just adults.
What’s more, the values and priorities of our culture are shaping how young people see Christian faith and read the Bible, and not always positively. Supporting teenagers to find a deep and lifelong faith needs different approaches from the kind of youth work many of us grew up experiencing.
New approaches underpinned by research
Youthscape is a Christian charity that helps churches all over the UK connect more deeply with young people, both those growing up in church and those out in the local community. It’s the leading UK publisher of Christian youth research and develops new resources and youth work practices to help churches and families apply Biblical principles to challenges like mental health.
More than two thousand teenagers participate in Youthscape programmes every year, ranging from support for a young person to stop self-harming to bringing together smaller church youth groups for shared discipleship. This day-to-day engagement with teenagers informs their wider work.
Many churches have come to rely on Youthscape, not just for more relevant discipleship resources, but for the bigger events the charity stages – each November more than a thousand youth workers and volunteers gather for a weekend of training and inspiration, and each summer thousands of young people come with their churches to the Satellites festival where hundreds make a deeper commitment to Jesus in their daily lives.
Read about Youthscape's latest research, access new resources and learn about Satellites and the National Youth Ministry Weekend.
On 16 November at 18:30, we will host an event at our London offices where Youthscape will present its latest research..
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