|What are young people in Baptist churches thinking?|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 08:32|
Want to know what young Christians in Baptist churches are thinking? Their hopes, fears, challenges and insights?
A recently launched website is providing a rich seam of thought among the 20 - 30 generation. The site is the brainchild of the Younger Leaders' Forum of the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB).
Appropriately enough given the statistics, it is called the Missing Generation. Two years ago a report charting Baptist church attendance showed that while the overall figures were broadly stable, there had been something of a dramatic 16 per cent drop in young adults.
The website, a flagship gathering on October 13, called Missing, and a Facebook page and Twitter feed, is an attempt to gain more insight into why this is so, and what can be done.
'The YLF's purpose is to be a voice at Baptist Union Council for the 18-30s,' explained current moderator Ben Christine, a web developer and member of Andover Baptist Church.
'It's been meeting for a good ten years, and over this time we have been trying to really resource them. Following that report two years ago, our conclusion was we need to do more to engage. We've got to connect with them - both those in church and those out of church.'
Several articles have already been posted on the website, and have featured a range of writers exploring different issues; trusting God ahead of a gap year; dealing with doubt; being looked down upon in church on account of one's age (despite God frequently using young people in the Bible).
Already certain points have been picked up and used by others in different contexts. A post last week from Chris Eddison in Yorkshire looked at churches' expectations and measures of success for young people. Some of his thoughts were subsequently adapted in a blog by Surbiton New Life Baptist minister the Revd Adam Stacey about the future of BUGB.
The Revd Peter Dominey, one of the co-founders of the Beyond 400 website, spoke of his appreciation of the website. 'BUGB really needs this - thank you for the vision behind this and the work put into it,' he posted.
Ben (pictured) acknowledges that a website won't solve all the issues - the Missing Generation event in October is an attempt to bring people together, develop contacts and share ideas - but hopes useful insights can be gleaned that would impact churches.
'It's trying to get the ball rolling,' he explained. 'We're hoping the response will guide us, and help tell us what is going wrong - and what is going right.
'One of the biggest issues is churches being filled with people of a different generation - yet both sides have a lot to teach each other. For some church has a reputation for being a bit boring, not interactive enough.
'But some churches are doing great things. It's looking at what young people are interested in - but all while staying strong to the gospel.
'Through this we're hoping we can draw together churches and help them, and hope to encourage others in this age group.'
|Last Updated on Monday, 02 July 2012 08:51|
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