Thrive doesn’t want to do anything which the local church can do itself. We want to complement what is happening, not replace. One way we do this is by offering training in leadership for young people. As well as providing oversight for initiatives such as the First Sunday monthly youth worship event, we have led several leadership courses.
In April, our sixth youth Growing Leaders course came to an end. Over the last six years, there have been over 50 young people, coming from over 10 different churches, taking part. We’ve also run a course for worship leaders twice, seeing 25 different young people learning how to lead others in worship.
“Growing Leaders is the most useful course I’ve ever been on. Every session showed me something new about myself and about how to lead effectively, and all with a fantastic group of people who became some of my closest friends.” – a participant on the Growing Leaders course.
Investing in young leaders is a vital ingredient for Thrive. We want to do all we can to both impact the Church today and increase its potential impact in the future. Investing in young leaders, does both these things.
By helping young people to think through the leadership ability they have, as well as their leadership potential for the future, we are helping to raise equipped Christian young adults who might take God’s love out into their future workplaces, as well as being strong leaders within the Church itself.
As part of our celebrations for five years of Thrive, we asked some of the previous participants on the courses to share what difference completing the course has made to their lives in the years since. Take a look at the video below to find out what they said.
Andy Castle has co-ordinated all of these courses but they can’t happen without the shared leadership of other leaders in the area. Kate Wallis, the youth minister at St Paul’s Church Leamington Spa, has co-led all six programmes of the youth Growing Leaders course, as well as hosting a youth Growing Leaders Refreshed weekend, providing further investment in the growing alumni from the course.
The Worship course has been run by Andy working alongside Gemma Willis, youth worker at the time at St Mark’s Leamington Spa. For the second programme, Andy was joined by Ruth Ditch, a local volunteer youth leader and dance instructor, and Toby Harper- Lawrence, who was doing an internship with Thrive.
It’s our hope that by running these programmes, we help raise the expectation amongst Christian young people that God not only has a plan and a purpose for their future, but He wants to build his kingdom through them now, today, in whichever churches and youth groups they are in and whatever schools they find themselves.