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19 March 2014

Refresh Update - ‘Fishing in an Ice-cream Bar’ - No. 4

Aaron Griffin Aaron Griffin Head of Youth Ministry
Sprinkles Gelato

In this Refresh Update, Aaron Griffin gives us a flavour of what is happening within the Rooted youth group (ages 14 to 18), which shows why we need to increase the church youth worker staffing to the equivalent of a full-time post.

There was a buzz in the air when Thursday night rolled around. Rooted were about to head to Sprinkles ice-cream bar to enjoy some time together. More and more people arrived and piled into the basement, and the excitement rose because of so many new faces.

After some time enjoying table tennis and getting to know some of the new people, we sat down to listen to Dan Simpkins speak about the account of Jesus on the cross from Mark’s Gospel. He asked us to think about ‘Who was on the cross?’ and ‘What happened on the cross?’ before explaining the good news of Jesus. After exploring the Bible together, we suited up and headed out to Sprinkles.

Two ways of growing

Within Rooted, we have recently been thinking about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus commanded his disciples to go and ‘fish for people’. We want to be a youth group that is growing in two ways. Firstly, we want to grow spiritually, loving God more and learning to live as his disciples. Secondly, we want to grow in numbers – we want to fish for people! We want Rooted to be a place where young people can come and hear about the good news of Jesus. Last Thursday, we discussed ideas for next school term. Some of the young people took on the responsibility to organise various events which they would be excited about bringing their friends to. We are excited about mission, and we are excited to see what the future holds.

Ice creams were ordered, waffles were eaten, and the Sprinkles trip was a great success. The leaders (an amazing bunch!) were buzzing after the trip, and once 9:30 pm rolled around and everyone had left, we got down to praying together. The whole evening was a fantastic example of a group of young people and leaders who are fired up to share the good news of Jesus – good news which has been so joyfully accepted by them.

A brilliant problem

The evening does leave us wondering though: what happens if God answers our prayers for the two types of growth? We believe he is. We have a brilliant problem on our doorstep: a growing youth group means we need to grow our investment in leaders and young people. Dan has been a great leader and we will be sad to see him leave us, but in the midst of the sadness comes a great opportunity. Will we as a church family, who are so blessed, be a blessing to the next generation? Can we, together, build Jesus’s disciples today and watch them blessing the church of tomorrow? Will we stand with them in glory, burning with joy as the King of Kings greets us? Will we enable another generation to fish for people?

Aaron Griffin

Pray for...

  • The young people within ABC to become fully committed followers of Jesus, and for many more to come to know him.
  • Dan and Aaron and their team of volunteer leaders, as they develop the Rooted group to be more missional.
  • The youth strategy group as they explore the best way of increasing youth worker staffing to the equivalent of a full-time post after Dan leaves this summer.

Backing the vision

“Above Bar Church is a beacon of gospel light in the heart of Southampton. Upgrading its facilities and widening its ministries will be a tremendous help in the task of spreading the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 John Samuel, Senior Minister of Duke Street Church, Richmond
(Son of Leith Samuel, ABC Minister 1953–1979)

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