Snow, selfies and summer
At time of writing, I’m both considering the snow that’s been recently falling and the programme for Young Crown’s summer activities. A paradox that is, in fact, quite unremarkable here in the Highlands!
Whilst on the subject, I’ve been thinking of some other paradoxes too… I was researching some trends in UK statistics for youth and children’s ministry and came across two stats in quick succession:
90% of adults who attend church had also attended as children.
48% of UK churches have fewer than five under-16s.
What’s going on here? Obviously these two stats don’t tell the full story and there are many different strands of data filling in the blanks between them, but, I can’t make these two fit together. We have an overwhelming majority amongst churchgoers for whom being in church was vital for their faith formation (another survey concluded that 72% of Christians had come to faith before the age of 20) and a following couple of generations almost wiped off the radar of church attendance! The statistics for the UK church aren’t looking good. The graphs they produce are headed in the wrong direction.
Thankfully we don’t live in statistics. And we have a God who bends statistics. In Ephesians, He is identified as “him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.”
As we head towards summer and the children’s groups and organisations (BB, GB, Cubs, Beavers, Scouts, brownies, Guides, etc.) rest up and give their leaders a well-earned break; we’re planning to fill the gap with summer clubs in a similar vein to last year. To make sure that children and young people have the opportunity to meet with us, be welcomed and invited and, most importantly, to meet God who multiplies. Who loves immeasurably, and empowers emphatically. “Who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us.”
‘Immeasurably more.’ That’s my prayer, and I hope yours too, for Young Crown as we reach out and grow and invite this summer. ‘Ask and imagine.’ That’s what we’re doing because whilst the statistics are bad in terms of the self-preservation of an institution; what’s really at stake is people coming to know the length, breadth, and depth of the love of Jesus.
Pray for the summer groups, that there may be good numbers of people and excellent leaders. Pray for the upcoming lessons and prayer spaces in Schools; pray for the impact we can have on the community, and the ways we can show God’s love to those in our midst!
And, in case you were wondering, “selfies” in the title was a reference to a recent Young Crown event in which 38 youngsters went out on a photo treasure hunt.
As ever, thanks for your prayers and support.