'Making a difference - now'
Young people at the Baptist Assembly explored God's plan for their lives – and not just for the future
The youth programme (Years 7-13) was led by Matt Smith, youth minister at Skipton Baptist Church (pictured). ‘It was all about helping them explore their calling, and where they’re at now,’ Matt explained.
‘In my youth work experience, young people always think about the future. But God has plans for them to make a difference now!'
The programme had a theme of Ignite, and was divided into three strands: Ignite our passion, Ignite our potential, Ignite our plan.
It was split into two sessions, the first running from 10.30 to 12noon, and the second from 1.30 to 5.15pm.
‘The first session was basically a getting to know each other activities, a lot of talking to each other,’ said Matt.
‘And that really built into the afternoon sessions, where they felt comfortable sharing stories and talking honestly together.'
The participants were drawn from all over the country, some local, several from the south, and a group from the North West.
‘It’s really important for them to get together and meet Christians of their own age,' continued Matt, 'It helps them relate, because they are with people going through similar things and experiencing those same pressures.’
Indeed, when the group were challenged on areas where they struggle, the majority admitted having difficulties with one area of life in particular.
‘We spoke a lot about where we struggle, with being a Christian, being a good example, and 80 per cent said they struggled with patience.
‘So it was good to see them wrestling with these issues. I think they have gone away with a lot of food for thought, with the confidence to work on these areas and see the fruit of the spirit in their lives.’
He added, ‘Overall, I think it went really well, that we really got to know the young people, and each other.
'We tried to build good relationships, and it was great to see them talking through these life issues together.’