A new initiative to connect youth to the church

By March 18, 2005

Australia (MNN) — Young Life, Australia is launching a new initiative Crossing the Divide, which is seeking to partner with churches to effectively connect young people to local churches and help elevate youth attendance again.

According to recent statistics from the Australian Census and the National Church Life Survey, less than 6-percent of 15-19 year olds attend church and 40-percent stop attending church by the time they finish high school.

“These figures do not paint a healthy picture for the future of the church. We see a great need to partner with churches to effectively reach more young people to make Christ more real in their lives,” says Glyn Henman, CEO Young Life Australia.

Established for more than 30 years in Australia, Young Life is a non-profit and non-denominational Christian organization passionate about sharing the message of Christ to youth.

“Young Life is not another youth group, we seek to connect with young people where they are at. Our premise is that we need to reach out to the 97.7% young people who do not attend church and may never do so.”

Hanman says, “Our model is based on running activities which help relate and build relationships where young people are and not be limited to just a classroom environment. For example, we help with sport, SRE classes, run a pancake breakfast (and more) and make our programs fun and relevant to reach as many unchurched young people as possible. We use fun and humor as tools to connect these young people to the unchanging Gospel message. Therefore we seek to create a sense of need for the Gospel in their lives. Ultimately, we make Jesus real to young people by placing utmost importance on their relationships with our volunteer leaders.”

Once they reach them the goal is to get them into the local church and help them develop a relationship with Christ, which will ultimately keep them in church.

If you are interested in finding out how your church can partner with Young Life, please contact Glyn Henman in Australia at 02 9877 5144.

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