Over the weekend, 27th and 28th September, 11 young people joined Andy Castle and Kate Wallis for 24 hours at Barnes Close, near Bromsgrove, for the first session of our new youth Growing Leaders programme. Once again, this was a fantastic start to the course with everyone getting fully involved right from the first activity.
The 11 young people come from 5 different churches in Thrive’s area and many did not know each other very well. The Saturday evening focused on getting to know each other, sharing where each one is in our faith journey at the moment as well as having plenty of time to play some fun games and to laugh together. The first leadership challenge of the weekend followed: don’t go to bed too late! A challenge, we think, was achieved by most!
Sunday’s programme is pretty full with the focus of the day exploring what Christian leadership is and why leadership matters. The day is busy and the group responded well as they explored how Jesus led and the marks of his leadership, personified in his servant-hearted leadership.
Participants were challenged and encouraged; inspired and questioned. The feedback suggested that this was useful, with people saying how they are excited about growing more in their faith and will be looking more for opportunities to share their faith with others.
The group was a particularly musical group this year, with most break times filled with music, whether from the piano or guitar. We had a couple of times of worship led by some of the group and we want to see this more, as people discover their leadership gifts and are given opportunities to use them for the benefit of the whole group.
As leaders, we are hopeful for the course ahead. Each participant seems to really want to be on the course and are open to learning and discovering more of what God has planned for their lives. We had some interesting one to one conversations with them, where there was honesty and real issues discussed. We are excited about how the next few months may empower these young leaders to be more confident in Christ and to lead in their local churches.