In Spring 2015, Thrive Youth Ministries asked over 200 churches in South Warwickshire and Coventry about their work with children and young people. A total of 54 churches responded to the survey.
We found that:
- There were a total of over 1750 children or young people in regular contact with these 54 churches, either on a Sunday, or in an outreach activity or group.
- 90% of children and young people were concentrated in 10% of churches
- most churches have less than 20 children aged 5 to 18 years old
- 17 churches employed a youth leader or children’s or family worker.
- There were over 600 unpaid leaders and helpers involved in youth or children’s work
- There was a concerning fall in numbers of young people as they became older as shown in the graph.
What does this mean?
In our local area:
- Only 1 in 2 primary age children in contact with church will still be involved by the start of secondary school.
- By the time they reach the age of 15 only 1 in 4 of these will be involved with regular church activities or groups.
What can we do?
Jesus said we should let the children come to him. He loves them and wants them to have life in all its fullness.
At Thrive we see how Christians often long to see children come to Christ, yet there can be a sense of helplessness and resignation that youth and children’s work is in decline.
Thrive exists to support churches to be more effective in reaching out to children and young people, and in discipling them in the Christian faith.
Thrive works with local partner churches helping them look at what needs to change to improve youth work, and to begin to make those changes. We support and mentor youth leaders, encourage and help young leaders to run First Sunday, a monthly service for young people by young people.
We believe that by God’s grace not one of the young people who starts out in contact with our churches should be lost.
If you would like to find out more, or to support Thrive, visit us at thriveym.org.uk