Whilst we are currently putting much of our focus on starting new Groups, we are also heavily invested in supporting our long-standing Groups. The Urban Saints Energize Group at Maddiston Evangelical Church in Falkirk, Scotland has been running for ten years. David Campbell is the Church & Community Worker there and shares how their church has been supported by Urban Saints:
Why did you start the Group?
In 2009 we sensed God was leading us to provide a weekly club for teenagers. We had a strong midweek kids club at church with 40 children attending but, when they left primary school, we lost contact with them.
What is the format of your Group?
We have a core of about 30 young people come to the Club each Friday with up to 45 different teens coming during the course of the year. We provide a varied programme of games (see picture of young people playing Uno which is popular), sports, arts & crafts, talk, and of course - the tuck shop! Once every six weeks we go on an outing to laser-quest, ten pin blowing, swimming or even the beach.
How have you felt supported by Urban Saints over the years?
We use the brilliant Energize materials almost every week as part of the programme. The Meeting Plans give us ideas for games, activities and talks geared to unchurched youth. Some of the older teens have expressed interest in junior leadership training and we are using the Infusion programme with them.
Why do you keep volunteering each week? Are you ever tempted to give up?
When it comes to Friday, at the end of a busy week, sometimes we wonder where we’ll get the energy! Then God reminds us that it’s an awesome privilege to serve the young people, and share the Good News of Jesus with them. There have been difficult times in past years when we have patiently supported young people with social, emotional and addiction problems. But God has helped us. A Bible verse that keeps me, and I’m sure many other leaders going is, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
What would you say have been the successes of your Group over the years?
Seeing some of the young people supported through tough times in their life. Parents appreciate the safe place for their teens to go rather than being on the streets on a Friday night. We have seen the young people develop in their understanding of, and respect for, the Christian faith. Two young people have started to follow Jesus, and are engaging with the youth programme at church.
Leader at Maddiston
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