Youthway Take a Leap Forward
Back to the Glory Days?
In late 2020, Andy had an epiphany. Read on . . .
As I was driving through the city of Launceston on a Saturday night, I drove past Gateway Baptist Church, and wondered how their youth group would get going again.
Could it ever get back to its 'glory days?' Could it be an amazing youth group again? Would an amazing young leader come floating down ready to make a difference?
Some things dawned on me as I was reflecting.
- I love Launceston and have a passion for helping young people
- I'm not getting any younger, and maybe I could put up my hand
The story up to then
Back in 2002 I felt the call for mission. Nothing would get in my way, not even the wooden pews and crowds of people sitting near me. That call led me to amazing places and amazing opportunities. People at Gateway might have wanted me to run the youth group as a young, vibrant and passionate leader. I never quite got around to that!
Fast Forward to now. I've been in youthwork for half of my life now, and not once have I run a church youth group. Why? That seems waaayyyy too hard! No thanks.
After spending my whole week in a doing youthwork, a church youth group is the last thing I want to do. But for some reason, for some moment of insanity, my eyes opened to see that the little kids at the church will one day want their own youth group.
So, we proceeded to set up a youth group with zero young people. Well, actually, we have one young person. My eldest daughter. Who on earth wants to run a youth group with just their adolescent daughter? Not me!
But it's happening and God is opening doors . . . I hope.
Doors Opening - T.N.O.H.
Here are a few doors that have opened:
- The Team
If you have a great team, with years of experience, niche skills and boundless ideas, then you're off to a good start.
Other youth groups are keen to partner and share the load. Win.
A youth group that's in the centre of the city, with resources at the ready and outreaches needing a hand, then the stage is set.
- And possibly the biggest door - Humility.
There were no 'glory days' at Gateway. The youth group wasn't always perfect for all young people. There may never be an 'on point', 'uber', 'GOAT'*, 'dope' young leader (definitely NOT me) floating down to rescue us.
We're not aiming to be big, be flashy or the best. We're aiming to be present.
We're not aiming to be big, be flashy or the best.
We're aiming to be present.
To be there for when they show up.
Our message is to mentor young people to see that they are made for more. Made for more than what they believe of themselves and made for more than what the world says about them.
So far so good.
*Greatest Of All Time
Youthway launched in December 2020 with 15 young people participating in skating clinics, graffiti art, live music and pizza. In February, Youthway commenced for 2021 and partnered with Summerhill Baptist featuring abstract art for the revamped youth room.
The March program hosted an array of ping pong games, minute-to-win it challenges, and trick shots. The Youthway room will gradually develop into a creative space for live music, online media creation, art, and of course weekly connect group connections for young people.
Invitation to Youthway
Gateway's Youth Group is back and is a place for young people to grow in skills and confidence, develop friendships, and explore faith on a real level.
Youthway is held on the last Friday of each month with the plans to expand into weekly connect groups. With a re-developed youth room and a blank canvas for creativity, Youthway is inviting you to see that we are made for more.
Gateway Baptist Church, 22 Wellington St Launceston, email@example.com
Above: March 2021; Below: April 2021