One of the most significant bridges for our young people is the gap between youth group and church – between Friday night and Sunday.
Research presented by the Moore College’s CMD reports that there is a significant drop off in church involvement in the later teen years. We all know that this is a fragile time, with all kinds of pressures.
So what do we do?
Firstly, we pray. For what appears fragile from our perspective is not at all from God’s. Those he has hold of are secure in his vice-like grip.
Secondly, we work hard to develop the faith of our young people in ways which will help them bridge the gap to adulthood. This will only be done through his word in their hearts in the fellowship of Christian community.
The fellowship we have as Christians is crucial, and helping our youth thrive in community is vital. That’s why we make our youth group, Refuge, as enjoyable and relational as possible.
But what happens when they leave Refuge? Integration into church on a Sunday is crucial – this is the third step.
To help that happen, Refuge is moving to Sunday arvo, just before 5pm church. It’ll be everything it was before, but the new time slot will make heading off to evening church a lot easier, and help the youth become part of the wider fellowship at Oak Flats Anglican.
And we won’t be giving up Friday nights, but this time will now be for our age-specific small groups. The extra time in these small groups will really help in our discipling too.
Being part of church is being part of God’s family, with everybody of all ages. We are looking forward to helping our young people experience that as they grow into a lifelong of faith in Christ.