Enabling Youth Leaders to Connect More Effectively with Non-Churched Young People

A Church Army review of the Missional Youth Church Network (MYCN) has shown it is making good progress towards its target of establishing 30 missional youth churches in five years.

Missional Youth Churches (MYCs) enable 11- to 18-year-olds to build community and discover their faith, and each is particular to its own context and need.

MYCN now has contact with more than 100 leaders across the country with an interest in building churches with young people in their area. And since the Learning Community for youth leaders, clergy, pioneers, and school leaders launched online in 2020, 25 MYCs have started to develop and grow. Benefact Trust is supporting this exciting project with over £200,000 in funding.

The Church Army Review has discovered that leaders have grown the most in their confidence and capability in building community with young people, sharing faith with them, and in discipleship with young people. One youth worker said: “I’ve found it helpful to hear stories and methods of how to move unchurched young people from relationships and drop-ins into small groups where they explore faith.”

MYCs look very different in a variety of communities across the UK. In Dinting Vale, Derbyshire, the Revd Nick Gurney has been running youth ministry sessions every Friday after school with a team of volunteers, engaging with 60 young people from the local secondary school. And for young people in Whitehaven, Cumbria, Alison and her team have been going into a school and leading a lunchtime craft club which has developed into a space where young people can share their hopes and dreams through different activities.

“The MYCN vision chimes with the Church of England’s aim to be a younger and more diverse church of missionary disciples. MYCN Team members have tried and tested Anglican experience of working with unchurched young people and of forming new worshipping communities. They are well placed to offer practical, strategic and formational support to dioceses and churches.” – Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

“It is fantastic to see the progress MYCN is making, and the variety of different youth churches that are being established across the UK. It is a privilege to support MYCN’s vision which will help to secure the future of the church and see it becoming more diverse and inclusive.” – Andrew Bass, Senior Grants Officer, Benefact Trust

Exciting discussions are taking place for the next phase of growth across the whole country. The Church Army review of MYCN concludes that there is considerable potential for MYCN to contribute to the delivery of the Church of England’s ‘Vision and Strategy for the 2020s’ and to help more dioceses establish Missional Youth Churches. 

You can download the full Church Army review, here.

This article was originally published by The Benefact Trust. Shared with permission.