Making more space for God

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It’s the last night at Soul Survivor – wet, muddy, exhausting. We’re all sitting together at the evening meeting, the first time that’s happened all week. At the end, there’s an extended time of response. I look round, amazed. Every young person is either praying for someone else or being prayed for themselves. It’s wonderful!

Moments like this one – when we can see and trace God at work – are amazing. They remind me what a privilege it is to be a youth leader. They’re one of the reasons that we like to take the young people away – we see relationships deepened and strides forward in faith.

These ‘residentials’ are often described as mountain-top experiences (probably both for the youth and leaders!). When we get weary or lack inspiration, these glimpses of what God’s doing keep us going and encourage us.

Yet I don’t want to have to wait until next year’s Soul Survivor trip for more. What if we could make more space for God this coming year? That’s the thinking behind the recent changes to our youth groups.

The younger youth still come to church with their families, but head straight for breakfast with each other before the usual activities begin. In this way we can spend more time together and relationships can deepen – with each other and God.

The older youth still come to church, but grow more independent and own their faith more, by meeting together before the evening service for Bible study and discussion before attending the service and being part of it together.

In this way, we hope and pray our young people will enjoy fellowship and learn to depend on our wonderful God who’s always the same whether we’re on top of the world or not.

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