It is no secret the tears that have been shared and the heartache felt over seeing fewer and fewer young people in our churches. After our initial tour around our churches at the start of 2017 we had to ask ourselves some hard questions.
- “What will our churches look like in 10 or 20 years if we do nothing and keep going as we are?”
- “How are we going to respond as a church to the fact that so many young people are missing from our churches?”
As a result of this we decided to partner with Dr Nick Kross from the South Pacific Division to start the conversation with our churches. We were also joined by the editor of the Record, Jarrod Stackelroth as he collected stories along the way. This happened over 8 days starting at the top of the South Island and making our way through each region, finishing back in Christchurch. The presentations included a closer look at the minds of adolescents, the significance of family, and the role of the church as community and family for our young people.
This was a very honest discussion where Dr Nick gave insight and challenged all to be empowered as church to go and connect with their young people. It is exciting to see that less than a week later we are already seeing the ripple effect of the conversations that have started! From fresh invitations back to church, to innovative ways of including young people in how we do church, it is exciting to see how the challenge we are faced with has been embraced by our people.
While this is just the beginning, it is a beginning none the less, and with Gods Spirit leading us I cannot wait to see what He is going to do for our young people today and in the future!
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit”, says the Lord almighty
– Pr Sarah-Jane, Youth Discipleship, South New Zealand Conference