Scripture Union calls for a reimagining of church for younger generations

Scripture Union have launched a new Mission Framework in an online celebration and launch event, premiered on Youtube on Wednesday 14th October. The SU team introduced the new framework alongside worship led by Lou Fellingham, and an inspirational message from Guvna B.

The Mission Framework, titled Revealing Jesus, sets out Scripture Union’s strategy to mobilise and equip churches across England and Wales to share the Christian faith with the 95% of under 18s who don’t go to church. (Peter Brierley, UK Church Statistics 2, 2010–2020, Tonbridge: ADBC Publishers, 2014)     

The charity is encouraging churches to recruit Faith Guides – passionate volunteers who are called and commissioned specifically to work with children and young people outside the church  . The approach recognises the importance of role models in faith development, as young people learn by experiencing alongside more mature Christians. Faith Guides will receive free training, resources     and coaching    from the Scripture Union team, while serving in their local church.

Faith Guides will accompany children and young people through four stages   that Scripture Union have identified in the development of personal Christian Faith. The journey sees children move from an initial Connection, through opportunities to Explore and Respond personally to Jesus  , and on into a lifelong invitation to Grow in Christian faith in a safe, engaging and age-appropriate community.

National Director, Myles MacBean says,

“From its foundation over 150 years ago, this is what SU has been all about – helping churches to go wherever the children are but the gospel isn’t, radically and creatively re-imagining what that means for each generation while remaining faithful to Biblical bedrock.”

The 95% statistic that Scripture Union has taken as its focus for this strategy serves as a wake-up call for the church in England and Wales. With such a large proportion of the younger generations not engaging with church, a radical and creative re-imagining is necessary in order to provide the community and context for discipleship and growth.

Scripture Union are introducing Grow Communities – peer-shaped, peer-served and adult-guided groups which are accessible and relevant to the young people in terms of learning style and interests. These communities will be served and guided by local churches and will be complementary to the usual Sunday services, offering space for new young Christians to flourish in their faith.

Hettie Taberner, who has been part of piloting the new strategy in Stockport says:

“It’s exciting to see young people come to know Jesus and become part of Grow Communities. We’re looking forward to supporting them as they get started.”     

The Revealing Jesus event is available to watch, alongside information about how to get involved at su.org.uk/revealingjesus

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