Helping young people explore discipleship and vocation
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)
Number of Pages: 96
Width: 21 cm
Height: 29.7 cm
Participate! is an exciting seven-week programme designed to enable 9-14s to gain the understanding and skills needed to live out their Christian lives within the local church and wider community. The material takes the approach that young people often find it difficult to establish their identity and role within the local church in the transition between being part of the children's group and settling in to a youth group. The resource provides practical guidance to help the whole church community think about their shared responsibility towards children aged 9-14 and to be involved in helping young people find their place in the church and community. Each session takes the young person on a journey of discovery about God, themselves and their role within the church and community. After the first six sessions the young people are given the opportunity to choose a task that they are interested in trying as a voluntary placement. Under guidance, they then work alongside someone who is already performing the task and encouraged to reflect on the role undertaken and what it means to serve others and God in that way.
The passion of young people compels them to look for a purpose in their lives and something or someone beyond themselves. Participate! responds to this God-given desire with an excellent resource that will both form and empower young disciples to serve Christ in the world and church. Churches with a history of excellent young ministries are permeated with a sense of mission to young people. What this resource does, that most do not, is to encourage the whole church to be involved in the young people's journey to discern the will of God in their lives. Revd Dr Steven Emery-Wright, Lecturer in Missions, Cliff College Our Lord wants children and young people to be full participants in the life of the church and God's mission to the world. This creative resource, full of ideas, offers the whole church ways of helping children and young people grow, hear God's call and take action. Use it. Participate! The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham This ground-breaking resource believes that young people can be an active and contributing part of the church today, and challenges us all to enable them to take their rightful place and truly participate. It encourages young people to take themselves and their faith seriously enough to consider their vocation; it gives them the concrete experiences and prayerful resources to do so. Dr Sam Richards, Director of Oxford Centre for Youth Ministry From The Good Bookstall - May 2012 This is one of the best whole church 'confirmation' courses for churches that don't do confirmation, and yes even those that do, that I have seen in an awfully long while. Fresh, interactive, personal and valuable are just a few of the adjectives that came to mind while working through the Participate! programme guide. The leaders manual, for want of a better term, starts with an excellent introduction that lays out clearly the purpose of the programme and how to use the guide, but the section 'reflecting on children's ministry' although short is quite invaluable and almost worth buying the book for alone to use with any youth ministry team in a reflective and good practice session. However when we get into the 7 actual sessions for the 9-14 year olds then we find good, strong, practical, and well guided sessions with scope for pretty much any church or group to use as they explore discipleship and vocation (to be honest though some of these sessions would be brilliant for short faith refreshers for any age!). For me this course really came into its own when I hit the appendix and it's stress on how this is a whole church activity - how not only are these sessions to teach young people about being part of the church but how they are expecting the church and its members to be active participants in that experience too - to teach by example and experience and mentor the children and even allow them the chance to be truly active in the life of the church and community by taking on a placement in the church - think 'young apprentice' in a holistic church environment! Fantastic course and I cannot recommend it enough, I'm really excited by the possibilities that this course could bring to churches of all denominations and to the young people in them. Reviewed by Melanie Carroll
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