Children’s & youth work links

Links from the world of children’s and youth ministry:

How do we help young people to pray?: Joel Goodlet has written a great blog on the need to stop sending out the invitation to ‘try prayer’ and find a way instead to encourage our young people to devote themselves to prayer.

Hugh Hefner Wrecked My Life. . . Sort Of. . .: Walt Mueller blogs on the cultural impact that Hugh Hefner had.

If you have not read the Nashville Statement, please don’t: Steve Holmes nails it, on how the Nashville Statement is framed to try to make us take sides, and the loudest responses have been similarly framed.

The Annual Bullying Survey 2017: the fifth and largest edition of our yearly benchmark of bullying in the United Kingdom. Ditch the Label, the anti-bullying charity, surveyed over 10,000 young people aged 12-20 in partnership with schools and colleges from across the country.

Regular Energy Drink Use by Young Adults May Hike Risk of Substance Abuse: A new study by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers suggests young adults who regularly consume highly caffeinated energy drinks may be at risk for future substance use.

Pledge to pray

Archbishop Justin Welby:

The most important thing I’ve ever done is become a follower of Jesus. I want everyone to hear his voice calling to them. That’s why I’m praying for people to know his life-transforming love. Will you join me and Christians around the world and #Pledge2Pray as part of Thy Kingdom Come 2017?

Sign up now and encourage your church, friends and family to get involved: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/

 

24/7 Prayer Celebrating 17 years!

24-7-prayer

24/7 are celebrating 17 years since a group of young people gathered in Chichester to try and get a little better at praying – and inadvertently launched the very first 24-7 prayer room.

They’ve written a great blog sharing 17 achievements from the past 17 years, here’s a few highlights:

1. PRAYER SPACES IN SCHOOLS

Over 500,000 children have accessed a prayer space in a school, enabling them to experience prayer and learn more about what it is.

3. THOUSANDS MORE PRAYER ROOMS…

Since that first prayer room, others have taken place in locations across the globe – from the Houses of Parliament in London to underground churches in Asia. And across the nations of Ireland and Switzerland, there has been a whole year of unbroken prayer.

6. A WHOLE ARCHIVE OF PODCASTS

Our Christmas and Lent devotionals get downloaded 1.5 million times a year and are watched all over the world, reaching number 1 on the iTunes video podcast chart multiple times.

7. PRAYER ACROSS NATIONS

24-7 prayer has taken place in over half the nations of Earth and has become a cross-denominational movement with Anglicans to Pentecostals to Baptists to Roman Catholics joining to pray 24-7.

8. OUR YOUTH PRAYER COURSE

Origins, our Youth Prayer Course for 11-18s has been used across the UK and has already reached America and Australia…

10. WHY PRAY?

Our short snappy video explaining prayer has been viewed over 100,000 times online – and in countless churches, youth groups and conference around the world.

11. A VIRAL VISION POEM

Words scribbled onto the wall of the first prayer room went viral across the world, and now a brand new film is going to be released to celebrate this monumental poem.

12. THY KINGDOM COME

Last year we gathered to pray and to worship in 5 cathedrals across the UK simultaneously in one of the biggest Anglican prayer events in England. And plans for next year are well under way…

16. MISSION TEAMS

As well as long term 24-7 Prayer communities serving in all kinds of places from Ibiza to Cape Town, we’ve also sent short-term teams to Turkey, Macedonia, Spain, France and Greece to serve pray, and encourage.

 

Origins prayer course

Over the last two months I’ve been running the Origins prayer course with a group of 11-14 year olds in our local church.

The resource has been developed by 24-7 Prayer, and describes itself as

a tool to help you teach young people to pray … our aim is that the outcome of this course will be young people developing healthy spiritual lives, equipped with tools to help them grow in prayer throughout their lives.

The 7 sessions are:

  • What is prayer?
  • Why do we pray?
  • Who do we pray to?
  • How do we talk to God (Part 1)
  • How do we talk to God (Part 2)
  • How to listen to God
  • Keep growing

OriginsSpreadWe have found the resource to be helpful.  Each session includes an icebreaker, food, game, talk, response, discussion and a challenge.  Within our context we did not do the meals – that isn’t something we would currently be able to do, but everything else was easily adaptable to fit to our context without much preparation.

The course whilst aimed at those with some faith is easily accessible for those with little or no faith.  Our particular group has a number of youngsters who would be unsure of whether or not they have a faith, but they thoroughly enjoyed these sessions.

Priced at just £5.00 for a leaders manual this really does work for all types of churches.  Do go and order yourself a copy here.

 

Week of prayer for evangelism has ‘touched a chord’ says Archbishop

Archbishop Justin Welby spoke to Premier Radio about prayer, evangelism and Thy Kingdom Come.

The call for Christians across England to prayer for our nation to know Jesus Christ has “touched a chord”, the Archbishop of Canterbury has told Premier Radio.

With tens of thousands of Christians taking part across throughout England and beyond this week, Archbishop Justin Welby said people are “motivated and excited” about praying together for those they love to know Jesus.

The week of prayer ahead of Pentecost was called for by Archbishop Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in November last year.

This week cathedrals and churches across England – and across the traditions – are hosting 24-7 prayer rooms, putting on special services, running prayer meetings, doing prayer walks, and many other activities. Churches overseas have also spontaneously responded to the call, with congregations in Belgium, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel and other countries joining the wave of prayer.

Justin-Welby-at-Premier-main_article_image

In the interview, the Archbishop said: “This week of prayer seems to have touched a chord that none of us really expected to the degree it’s happened. Port Stanley Cathedral in the Falkland Islands has joined in Thy Kingdom Come. There’s people in Israel and all across the UK. People find they’re motivated and excited about praying with others for those who they long to find the love of Jesus Christ.”

The week of prayer will culminate this weekend with special ‘Beacon’ worship events in numerous cathedrals around the country, led by bishops and contemporary worship leaders. The event at Canterbury Cathedral, led by Archbishop Justin Welby, Pete Hughes and Hannah Heather, with worship led by Seth Pennock and Tim Hughes, will be broadcast live on Facebook.

Watch or listen to the interview on the Premier Christianity website 

Visit the Thy Kingdom Come website 

Prayer for the EU referendum campaign

The Church of England has released a prayer for the EU referendum campaign.

The prayer is for use by churches and individuals ahead of the vote on June 23.

God of truth,
give us grace to debate the issues in this referendum
with honesty and openness.
Give generosity to those who seek to form opinion
and discernment to those who vote,
that our nation may prosper
and that with all the peoples of Europe
we may work for peace and the common good;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Origins: A youth prayer course for 11-18 year olds

There’s a new resource from the fabulous team over at 24-7 Prayer, to help young people aged 11-18 engage in prayer.

In the gospel of Luke, one of Jesus’s disciples asks him to teach them something. The disciple asks,

“Lord, teach us to pray…”

In a fun and laid back way, Origins will engage young people in the idea of prayer over 7 weeks, as well as giving practical suggestions to help them grow their prayer lives.

OriginsStack.jpgWHO IS ORIGINS FOR?

Origins is a 7 week prayer resource for 11-18 year olds, that will teach young people to pray.

The course is designed for young people from all backgrounds. The desire is that anyone at any place with God can come along and build community whilst learning how to have a relationship with Jesus.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

OriginsSpreadEach session is designed to fit into one and a half hours, but it can be changed to suit your group circumstances. The length of prayer times will increase over the seven weeks.

This course is designed for youth groups of all sizes but we suggest splitting into smaller groups for discussions.

HOW MUCH IS ORIGINS, AND WHERE CAN I GET IT?

It costs £5 per copy and is available on the 24-7 Prayer Shop.

Lifeboat Prayers – Praying for the refugee crisis with young people

prayer_spaces_logoDuring 2015, many thousands of refugees risked their lives (and many others lost their lives) as they sailed across the Mediterranean Sea in small boats. People do desperate things when their lives are in unimaginable danger.

This activity encourages students to think about refugees who are leaving their homes and precious possessions behind in order to escape danger. It encourages them to think about themselves, to reflect on their own homes and possessions and opportunities, and to imagine what it would feel like to lose almost everything.

Read more on the Prayer Spaces in Schools website.

Pray for Nepal

As we hear the news of the second earthquake in Nepal, let us pray for those caught up in tragedy and disaster.

Prayer for disaster

Praying with loom bands

Loom-bands_article_image

Loved the article on Praying with Loom Bands over at Childrenswork Magazine, especially this idea:

Praying for the world

Choose three colours of band – one colour to represent you, one to represent your country and one to represent the world.

Using the single-linked method to make a band with alternating colours or with a block of each colour (as shown above). Add the link to make a bracelet and use it as a prayer bracelet – praying for each person or group as you move from colour to colour around the bracelet, or block of colour to block of colour.

Go check out the full article for more suggestions.