We are continuing work to reimagine all we do to support children and young people @acnbchurch. In early April a group of folk from all our churches are meeting to continue shaping the future path of this vital work.
Our priorities for childrens' and youth work will be developing living relationships with families and creating good and godly memories for young people and their carers alike. We'd love you to pitch ideas into the mix if you have them. The best way would be to pop us an email or a web message.
We’ve been thinking about this a lot but we’ve had an boost from Andy Saunders the Children and Families Adviser from Winchester Diocese who came to talk to about 40 folk from @acnbchurch and other local churches to talk about how developments in society affect the way churches relate with their communities.
Sally commented: "Andy talked about the importance of talking to children about the faith at an early age and how people have friends who go to church, even if they don't themselves, so there is often a connection and we must use those connections more, to invite others to join in church activities etc. We have to rethink children in the church, not necessarily on a Sunday."
Andy runs this sort of seminar or training day around the diocese a lot. His training made people think how the nature of family life has changed so greatly in the last 30 years. Not only is there the sometimes complex area of blended families, but also the changes arising from the majority of parents both working. Migration for work also often means that relations live significant distances away and weekends are often reserved for visiting them."
Andy said: "I loved observing that they were learning so much from each other as they considered some of the highs and lows (at times) of seeking share the love of Jesus with children and families. We live in exciting times in being missional and incarnational in our communities, and that came out in the ideas and questions they were sharing and asking".
Churches are meant to be intergenerational communities where we are all young, adults and elderly, being transformed and redeemed tighter. Alongside the Church Of England's national youth team we see that children and young people can follow Jesus, live as faithful disciples and be full members of the church at any age. We are all children of the same heavenly Father and we need to be sure that we remove obstacles to young people's getting involved. This research report may be an interesting read