At Thrive we are always wanting to invest in, and grow, Christian young people in their gifting and skills. Over the course of the summer term we were able to run a course, online, that would help them learn how to preach and give an engaging talk.

The course was only open to young people who had been on one of our previous Youth Growing Leaders courses. Six people, coming from six different local churches across Leamington, Warwick and Coventry, took part in the five-session course.

Using the Loud & Clear video training series from Soul Survivor, we gathered on Zoom each month for 90 minutes. We watched the videos, chatted about what we were learning and split into two’s and three’s to discuss further, and to pray for each other.

The course was four sessions long, with the option of a final fifth session where the young people were given the opportunity to deliver a talk, no longer than ten minutes in duration, and to then receive feedback from the group.

One of the (many) frustrations of the restrictions over the last eighteen months has been that we have not been able to invest directly in young people as much as we would have liked. We have not been able to run our Youth Growing Leaders course, which usually takes place each year. Our youth and children’s worship events and weekends have, of course, stopped.

Our hope is that these will start again very soon and so this course was part of our preparation. In the past, we have had worship led by young people. Young people have helped to host our events, and now we want to enable young people to also give the teaching. We were not disappointed.

The participants were invited to work on their talk throughout the course, putting into practice the learning from each session: exploring how to structure a talk, how to use illustrations and stories, as well as using body language and tone to better engage those you are speaking to.

Fortunately, by the time of our final session we were able to meet together, very socially distanced in Whitnash Methodist Church, and to deliver the talks in person.

To be honest, we were unsure how they would go. Would the talks be any good? We needn’t have feared, as what we heard was exceptional. Despite pre-talk nerves, each one who spoke preached God’s truth in a way that was engaging, deep and inspiring.

Of course, not only do we now want to give them opportunities to speak at any Thrive events, but we are also encouraging their youth leaders and church ministers to give them opportunities to speak at their own churches.

Please pray for these young people to nurture the gift that God has given them and that they will use their preaching to lead more people to Jesus.