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Energize: Helping thousands every week

4th Nov 2022

As we head towards the end of 2022, Energize faces a fascinating new season ahead. Our online resources platform is seeing plenty of new life and growth - although not without challenges too - as well as heading towards a significant birthday too.

Numbers of subscribing groups and churches are going up after a decline during Covid-19 and while not back yet to pre-2020 levels, there is a definite sense that things are returning to more normal patterns again. Understandably lockdown in particular saw a drop in use for Energize with youth and children's activities decreasing across the nations. However the combination of our resources and ideas for online and remote groups and an encouraging commitment to youth mission and determination to continue across our subscribing groups and churches, has meant we had a good foundation from which to grow again. It's great to know that churches and other Christian communities are able to continue creating safe spaces for children and young people to explore life and faith. While there are churches and individuals who need help, support and inspiration for reaching out beyond the boundaries of their Christian communities, we will continue to offer the tools and resources to do so.

Energize continues to grow in terms of content too. New sessions are being added to the website every month and we're looking to include even more videos and training to equip volunteers in their weekly group times. We continue to add new sessions as part of growing new series such as our 'Have you got ID?' identity series and lots of new special sessions, including Anti-bullying, Queen Elizabeth II and Black History Month too. This will continue as we head into next year and there's much to look forward to, starting with a whole load of new Christmas material launching any day now.

Discover the full range of Energize sessions

We've been delighted to offer free topical videos to subscribers from our friends at GoChatter throughout this year. These have been very popular and we will soon be adding a series of animations to accompany some series. New training and discipleship courses for young people - including IntoAction and The Difference - have been launched this year as well as more training blogs exploring hot topics for young people and guidance for leaders working with younger people too. We also began a new partnership with Grow Faith to provide follow-up devotional materials for young people, exclusively via their new Grow social media app.

Find out more about Grow

Churches and Christian groups are far from immune to the rising cost of living right now - unsurprisingly, neither are we. However Urban Saints continue to make every effort to keep the cost of Energize to a minimum while ensuring that it provides as much value to youth and children's leaders and volunteers as possible. Despite this we know that there are those who are struggling to afford this investment in children and young people. We remain committed to helping anyone who either can't afford to subscribe to Energize or who are struggling to keep using the resources for financial reasons. We don't want to see anyone having to make these kinds of difficult choices and have been delighted to offer bursaries to a number of churches and groups this year too.

Read about the impact of bursaries for churches

Through all the ups and downs of the last few years, we have been so pleased to be able to serve thousands of volunteers, faithfully running groups, clubs and Sunday Schools week in week out. Volunteers like Lucy, who took a few moments to share what she really appreciates about having Energize available to support her every week:

"I use Energize to prepare and run youth Bible study sessions for young people aged 14+. I love that you can filter by age group, time available and even room size to get a bespoke plan for my group. The suggested activities give me lots of ideas and help me to understand the part of the Bible that we will be looking at together. Sometimes I include my own ideas, often inspired by immersing myself in the ideas that Energize provides. It makes planning easier than starting with a totally blank canvas.

Having Energize as a resource also helps to develop other leaders and give them confidence to lead sessions. It makes our preparation manageable and well resourced and I love that I can learn from it as well! It's not just the leaders who benefit - as a group we have lots of laughter, which really sets the tone for our group and helps make sure that everyone is feeling welcome and relaxed."

It's so encouraging to be reminded that Energize is helping inspire and equip volunteers like Lucy - and not just this week or this year but for decades. In 2023 we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Energize so keep an eye out for what we've got planned as well as all the new resources, training and support that Energize has always offered.

Not discovered Energize yourself yet? You can try it for free for 30 days, adding as many of your fellow volunteers and leaders on to do so - why not give it a go today (or encourage someone else in your church to do so?!

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