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YOUTH WORK

It is gone midnight and I have just returned from leading some youth work in Colchester with 20 young people from year 7-9, [them 11-14 years of age].  This group was a good mixture of boys and girls, some with church connections but mostly on the fringe of the church. The event called Wired runs for just under two hours and is fast paced, relational youth work. The volunteer team support me the five or six times a year that I visit the church where I am asked to lead the evening.

‘If I could just bottle up their energy for an hour it would be so helpful!’

It was really lovely to see the newly appointed Vicar come along and throw herself into the evening. She joined in the games and activities and had a great time.

The fast paced evening includes a plentiful variety of games with different tempos and skills required. I plan the evening so that energy is burnt off at the appropriate times, variety is included to prevent any boredom, inputs are short & snappy & the older young people are given some responsibility.

‘Being natural, having a sense of humour and defining the boundaries, are important qualities to have when working with young people.’

I do believe Churches need to value young people, investing in them with realistic expectations & planning. If the young people see the sincerity of the team of volunteers & the genuine care they have for the young people, I believe it is noticed & appreciated.

Samuel the prophet and priest

In a children’s club in a Baptist Church recently, I asked the children if they believed God could speak to children. Surprisingly they said a resounding, “yes”. We then acted out two scenes from the Old Testament, Samuel, as a young boy, being called by the Lord in the temple and running three times to Eli the priest. Eli, after the third time being interrupted in the night realises that the Lord is calling the boy. We then acted out the story of Samuel as a priest and prophet, going to Jesse’s house. Jesse was a father of seven boys and from the oldest they were brought in before Samuel. Each time the Lord said that they were not the chosen one to be anointed by Samuel and in the future be the King of Israel. After the sixth one had paraded before the priest, Samuel asks Jesse is there anyone else? David is called from looking after the sheep & as the youngest son is not even considered by his father, Jesse. David is probably a young teenage youth, ruddy in appearance but courageous.

A committed team of volunteers from the Church is vital for this important relational bridge building with children or young people. The investment of time in the lives of children sows seeds for eternity. It is said that 19 of every 20 adults in Church have come to faith by the time they are 20 years of age.

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The Lord’s ways are not mans ways and His wisdom is above ours. He looks at the heart as we often look at the outward appearance. David is anointed by Samuel as the Lord confirms he is the one. David goes on to be the young lad who defeats the giant, Goliath and becomes one of the most famous and respected Kings of Israel. From the line of David, 700 years later we come to Jesus. In one of David’s Psalms he is inspired to write prophetically about the cross of Christ in Psalm 22. The children of Elmswell had not heard the story of David before & were amazed at how God had worked.

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Kevin works with children and youth groups in Churches & is a resource employed by Face2Face Educational Trust to help Churches establish & develop children’s ministry. If you are interested in Kevin helping your Church please make contact. Kevin has 20 years of experience working as a Scripture Union regional evangelist & 10 years working as a teacher in Kent in schools and in adult  education. He has also worked with underprivileged children in North America & in a young mens prison in Rochester.

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