This week marked a definitive day in the history of the church, the Regeneration Summit. A gathering of 150 young people, Bishops, Youth Workers, the Arch Bishops of York and Canterbury, to discuss how the church can reach young people in and outside of the church in England.
We were split up into 19 groups each with some Bishops, Youth workers and young people, to discuss how we can radically change the way the church interacts with young people. We looked at what they already do, what they can do, what they are doing well, and what they are not doing well. There were people from all backgrounds, village churches where they were the only young person there, to people from large churches like st Toms, people who had never done any out reach to people where mission was the focus of there church.
We recorded what came out of our discussions (available on www.regenerationsummit.org), fed back to the organisation team, and had some Q and A time, where the Bishops were able to ask any questions and get some honest answers, and then they had some time to respond to what had been said to them.
The day ended with the Arch Bishop leading us in communion, a time of worship and the signing of a pledge which said;
Gathered in Sheffield for the Regeneration Summit we are excited by all the positive work with young people across our nation. We rejoice that so many young people are involved in the life of our Church, yet we yearn for more.
As Bishops and Church leaders we pledge ourselves to find new ways to listen to the voices of young people, and encourage them in their Christian walk. We will work to enable young people’s voices to be heard better both within our Diocese and the national Church. We will seek to find new ways to empower young people both in leadership and ministry. We will endevour to work with colleagues to enable new mission initiatives with young people, and consider if new financial resources can be made available to support these.
As young people gathered at the Regeernation Summit we affirm we will work hard to encourage and support our church leaders. We will pray for our Bishops, and so all we can to bless their leadership amongst us. We will work positively in our local churches, to encouarge our leaders. We plegde ourselves to pray for our friends, and to try to find new ways of sharing our faith with them.
Together, we commit afresh to pray for the Church we love, and to ask God to work a miracle amongst us, that He would use us to help many more young people across England come to a living faith in Jesus Christ.
We would love you to share this pledge with everyone you know, and pray for radicle change, for a church that sees revival amongst our generation. This is an exciting time to be in the church, lets see what happens!!!
To check out more go to www.regenerationsummit.org or find it on facebook
Tim, Tom and Jordan