A question that caused some anxiety when we stopped meeting together formally was: What will happen to the children? At that time we had a vibrant children's work serving several age groups. We didn't have an answer apart from the feeling that some time off wouldn't do the children any harm. We had already chosen the rhythm of the academic calendar and six weeks without formal church in the summer had caused no issues. Biblically it is the responsibility of a parent to train their child about the way of faith although culturally we have become reliant on systems of schooling for much of our children's development including the realms faith.

A different approach

Later some of our number acknowledged their passion for youth work and five friends started a youth club for the teenagers from our community and for some of their friends. This didn't happen in the same way for other age groups of children, although some families do get together intermittently for the purpose of their younger children meeting up. They, like the rest of us, gain from being part of a community that is united by a faith in Jesus. The children are often present at larger gatherings and benefit from a community where faith is talked about and exercised amongst families and friends, day by day, rather than being solely left to be dealt with on a Sunday morning.

The Youth Club

This meet very successfully for two and a half years until the time when it had run its course and kids moving on resulted in the numbers becoming impractical. Until that time we had met weekly during term-time at a local hall (a facility we used courtesy of our friends from a local Anglican church) for a mix of social, fun & games, teaching and faith discussion. We still maintain the BCC Child Protection Policy (which can be viewed here View the BCC Child Protection Policy) to cover any other ad hoc events we might hold in the future.

The Picture Above:

As we gathered to seek God for what was next, separately in 2007and 2008, two different people had a very similar picture of runners milling around at the starting line of a race waiting for the starters gun. In one of these pictures the starter laid down his gun and started to run off in a different direction expecting the runners to follow. It seemed that what we were unknowingly close to embarking on would not be a race to be run by individuals at God's command but quite a different race: cross country with Jesus (the starter) leading the way.
 

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