Energize, our on-line resource website, helps leaders to present the good news of Jesus to young people of all faith levels in engaging and relevant ways in community groups, church youth clubs, and Sunday schools. Around 1,700 groups currently subscribe to Energize and enjoy regularly updated resources that aim to spark discussions and make groups fun places to which young people want to invite their friends. Energize has been helping make disciples for Jesus across the UK, Ireland and globally for 17 years.
The coronavirus outbreak, almost overnight, changed the methodology of how children’s and youth work was carried out. With groups no longer able to meet in person, the challenge for the Energize Team was how we could continue to support leaders in discipling young people when everyone was stuck at home. As always, God was ahead of us.
We already had on our list of possible developments for Energize the idea of providing resources that could be used in the home, either directly by the children and young people or under the guidance of parents and carers.
Six months prior to the coronavirus outbreak a family approached us to see if they could access Energize for use in the home rather than a youth group. At the time we didn’t have a model for this but we were interested in seeing how Energize could be used in the home so we were delighted to give the family access to the site.
Sarah Walker, who asked us to help, shares how she and her three children got on.
“Energize has been a wonderful resource for our family. We were struggling to keep our young teens (age 12,15,17) interested in attending conventional church services but these resources have really met our need for vibrant, relevant Bible teaching for youth. The short studies are clear and simple and supported with visual learning such as video clips, short presentations, games and activities. We find that interactive small group learning for our family has been most beneficial and drawn us together in our faith as a family.”
With this endorsement and knowing that we had a whole raft of material that could be adapted for a home setting, the Energize Team set about creating Energize at Home - a series of themed sessions that contained Bible-based activities that could be used in a home setting.
And so, alongside this, we have helped leaders to access and safely use digital tools that are allowing them to keep meeting with their groups in virtual spaces, and we are creating and adapting Energize resources to help facilitate that.
Sometimes opportunities arise from the bleakest of circumstances and whilst, at the time of writing, we look forward to the days when groups can meet together in person, what we have learnt and developed during this season will make Energize an even more effective tool for making disciples for Jesus – in groups, in home and in digital spaces.
Peter Andrews - Resources Manager
“We have been using the (Energize At Home) sessions for parents to do at home and most of our families with young children have been doing them...”