"The approach of Urban Saints was very personal and with a heart that cares for the people not just the ministry"
It's always exciting when we hear about the possibility of a new Urban Saints Group starting. It's even better when it is one that has taken a little while to come together. When we heard about new Leaders being trained at a church in North London - the area where our movement was birthed - we had to find out more.
Back in January, the team at Christ Church Barnet got in contact with Sam, our Impact Team Leader in North London, to explore the possibility of becoming a new Urban Saints Group. The vicar there had previously been aware of the work of Urban Saints and recommended us to their youth and children's team.
A couple of months later, one of the routes from Our Big Journey happened to pass by the same church. Members of the Urban Saints team had prayed for the potential Group that day and the possibility of a new Group had remained firmly in our prayers ever since. When we heard that the new team were going through the Initial Training (required of all new Urban Saints Groups) over the summer, we asked them to share a bit about their experiences so far.
"The vicar of the church recommended to contact Urban Saints as part of the strategy of pioneering and outreach young people in the community." recalled youth worker, Pipe Figueroa, "When we got in contact, Sam and Nesu offered support for the areas where as a youth worker I need to grow and learn. Their approach was very personal and with a heart that really cares. Not just about the ministry, or the numbers, but the people behind the work. This is really valuable for the team here, for me as an individual and as leader of young people."
The team at Christ Church Barnet opted to do all their training on one Saturday instead of over the more usual 6 or 7 weeks, as this worked better for them. This meant that 8 out of their 12 volunteers were able to attend. A member of the Urban Saints team went to see the Group in action on the night before the training which helped them target the training correctly. The packed day of training went really well. The volunteers had expected it to be rather formal but they had a lot of fun with good food (!) and regular breaks.
Now they are in the process of getting the DBS checks through and they are thinking about whether to do a (re)launch event. We'll return to report back on how the Group is getting on later in the year.
Could you start an Urban Saints Group in your local community? Having a heart for young people is the first and most important step towards launching something new and exciting near you: