Despite being a busy GP, Andrew Craven makes it a priority not only to run a weekly Group but also to take the young people on Camps and Overseas Adventures. He explains why he feels these additional activities are so important in building on the weekly ministry.
Having been linked to Guildford Urban Saints (Crusaders before that), I have always been convinced of the great value of camps and other activities in building long term friendships, learning with others about living as Christian and seeing what life in all its fullness is all about.
We have been running a small Urban Saints’ Group here at Hest Bank in Lancaster since 2004 and started with just local meetings and activities. Since 2010 we have been involved with Spree (an activity weekend for Groups from all backgrounds) and ReBuild.
Spree is something that the whole Group look forward to and it enables us to do much more than we can do in a small group. We use the Energize material to run a series that builds up to the Spree weekend. The (often mad) activities, talks, worship, food and time together really help to challenge the young people and cement friendships. Spree is often a time when people make a commitment and we have found it much easier to explore more of the Bible and discuss things after the weekend.
ReBuild is something I would recommend to any person or youth group. It has been a privilege to go with some amazing people and really experience the presence of God and see people changing in unexpected ways. The whole Group gains from the fundraising, preparation events and then the whole trip. None of us have come back the same, both in awareness of different cultures and issues with poverty. Many have grown as a Christian. One trip led to some of the Group meeting for breakfast at 7am before school twice month to read some of the Bible and pray together. One parent, who I met recently, told me that her son who came with us in 2014 still talks about Mexico.
Ephesians 4:14-16 talks about people maturing and changing together to really make a difference. I am convinced that using Camps and Overseas Adventures are really important.
Leader of Lancaster Hest Bank Urban Saints
If you’re inspired by Andrew, consider taking your Group on a Spree or an Overseas Adventure: