The Big FivePosted: 26 Sep 11 | By: Jacob Klapwijk
NGUK has been running for 5 years now, and in that relatively short time we’ve seen hundreds of young people start a Christian group… and to commit to prayer and outreach in their schools and colleges. To be honest, the results have completely blown us away. We’ve literally had hundreds of stories of young people both living out their faith and people becoming Christians through their peers. School groups have baked cakes, handed out Bibles, created prayer hit-lists, sent encouraging notes to teachers, put up hearts on lockers for Valentine’s Day, held random-acts-of-kindness days, organised concerts, raised money for charities, worked against racism and bullying…and on and on the list could go. All of it peer-led, based on their own initiatives, which we think it is pretty amazing.
We love sharing stories and ideas, and we’re always on the lookout for more resources for our groups, so this year we’ve decided to celebrate 5 years in the UK by partnering with 5 great organisations and showcasing what we think are 5 amazing resources for young Christians in school. So allow me to introduce you to the 5 options.
I’m sure that most of you have heard of Alpha, it has gone all over the world and helped so many people become Christians. It’s an amazing cross-denominational tool for exploring the basics of our faith. Millions of people have been on the Alpha Course and we’re really excited to be able to partner with them.
Alpha have a branch called “Youth Alpha.” They run the same program, but it is adapted for a younger crowd. This can take place in a church, however you can also do it in your school. We’ve already had some groups that have started to do this and it’s been going great.
Youth Alpha have got all the content and they help you put together all the talks. Their website is really helpful and they have put a lot of hard work into making it easier for you guys to host a youth alpha course. You can also go to a training day where you’d get expert help from their team.
So if you’re interested then you can check out their website www.youthalpha.org. Alternatively contact us directly and we’ll help you set it up.
24/7 Prayer Room
24/7 is a prayer movement that started in the UK in 1999, since then, somewhere in the world there has been a group of people praying somewhere in a prayer room. Which is amazing. The main aim of their prayer is to pray for reconciliation and they do this on three levels: Spiritually – where there is broken relationship with God. Socially – where there is broken relationship between people, and environmentally – where there is broken relationship with our world.
You can see why we like them so much. They also believe in “turning prayer into practical action” so we go together like peas in a pod.
So how does it work practically?
24/7 Has prayer rooms all over the world, and they have just started having prayer rooms in schools. This is obviously different than having a prayer room in church, the main aim here is still prayer but in this case it is to give non-church goers the opportunity to experience prayer.
This has been done in accordance with RE lessons in school. In schools where this has been done Teachers have used it during lesson times and then students have maned it during the breaks so anyone can come and experience it in their free time. It’s an amazing way to help people pray and experience God. The prayer rooms are multi-sensory and interactive. You can write things, listen to music, look at things, draw etc etc. Don’t be put off by the setting it up as either NG or 24/7 can help you with this.
So either you can contact 24/7 yourselves and they will help you with the details, or if you’d like we can contact them together with you and help you organise it together. You would need to have a Head Teacher who is not already totally opposed to your group. It would also be a good idea to speak to your R.E teacher before hand.
For more info you can go to: http://uk.24-7prayer.com/schools-and-youth/
International Bible Society
We’ve partnered with IBS because we are passionate about getting the word of God back out into the schools. This isn’t any ordinary book. These are God’s word and we want to do whatever we can to get them into the hands of every young person in the UK. It’s such an easy project to be part of too.
This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Bible in the English language. 400 years ago the King James Bible was translated. That was the first time we had the Bible in our own language. It was the Bible for the people. It was the first time that anyone and everyone could read and enjoy the Bible. It was an amazing time in history. To celebrate that fact we want to get the Bible back out to the people again. We think that everyone deserves to have the Bible in their language and in their home and we’ve teamed up with IBS to make it as accessible and easy to relate to as possible. It’s full of testimonies of young people that we’re saved from non-christian backgrounds and even the translation we have chosen is one that should be easier to read and understand.
You can order these Bibles on our website and they’ll be sent to your door.
The Message Trust
This is something more for our Northern based groups, especially those in Greater Manchester. If you’ve been at any Christian conferences this year then you are likely to have heard bands like LZ7. They are extremely talented and they have even had success in the UK charts. The Message Trust has been going into schools for years now, and we are proud to be able to work together with them. They way it would work for a NG group is that you would be a contact person and a promoter. If you live in the greater Manchester area then you could invite the band into your school, then promote the band to all your mates before they arrive and then after the band have left you and your group could be there to answers people questions and follow up by having a visible and permeant Christian presence in your school. It’s a great combo!
Test of Faith + Chip K
This is a new an exciting partnership. “Test of Faith” explores the relationship between science and religion, and the generally perceived idea that they are in conflict. Scientist believers discuss how they fit their faith and professional science work together.
The material is aimed at UK-based GCSE and A level groups who are exploring the relationship between science and religion within the exam syllabus. So you may even be able to get your teachers on board with inviting them into your school. They cover issues like creationism, evolution, origins of the universe and the problems of evil and suffering.
All the contributors are experts in their areas and are respected both in and outside of Christian circles, and now they also have a new and exciting twist. Test of Faith have partnered with Chip K, a well-known Christian artist formerly with thebandwithnoname. Between them they’ve put together a multimedia presentation that includes elements of music and science…a guaranteed hit and thought-provoker for any school audience.
To bring Test of Faith and Chip K to your school would only cost you around £500, so if either your school or Christian Union have the money, all you need to do is contact us and let us know. Alternatively, you can contact the Test of Faith team here: http://www.testoffaith.com/schools.
That’s it! If you fancy having a go at any of these projects, let us know. We’d love to hook you up with one of these organisations and we’d love to find out how it went. If there are any youth leaders or pastors out there who would like any more info about any of these things then please contact us too and we’ll help as much as we can.
Until next time.