A good city to grow up in...
In Zechariah 8 the prophet paints a beautiful picture of the New Jerusalem as ‘a good city to grow old in … a good city to grow up in.’ At our core our longing is that this could increasingly be said of Birmingham and its surrounding areas.
Being part of a loving, vibrant church community where people encounter the love of Jesus is one of the best things anyone can give a child or an adult and so our main aim is to help local churches be just that for the children and families in their area.
Currently half of our Church of England churches in and around Birmingham have five children or fewer and we’d love to help that change, whilst recognising that our responsibility goes beyond those who make it through our doors – the good news is for all, inside and outside of the church walls.
We also know that having more children in church is great for adults too. In fact we are all impoverished when they’re not around. Their faith, liveliness, creativity and imagination is good news for the whole church.
Research on church growth (as seen in the Church of England report entitled ‘From Anecdote to Evidence’) shows that focusing on the younger generation is a real catalyst for growth. In fact statistics show that a church with no children or under 16s is very likely to be in decline, and growth is found where there is a high ratio of children to adults. Some of our churches already have this high ratio and it’s great to see but many don’t. We want to encourage, envision, equip and resource churches to intentionally engage with children, young people and families so they discover the love of Jesus and have an opportunity to respond. This will be good news for everyone!
If we can help, encourage or support you in any way as you seek to reach and disciple children and families in your area please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
Director of Growing Younger
(Children and Families)