More than 40 Youth Leaders from the Diocese of Blackburn gathered at The Centre at St Thomas’ Church in Lancaster on Saturday, October 14 for the Diocesan Board of Education's annual Youth Leader Conference, writes Heather Lee.
The conference opened with a time of worship, setting the tone for Jesus to be at the centre of all aspects of the day.
Josh Green from 24/7 Prayer then led the first keynote of the day, drawing on his experiences from leading young people and the importance of prayer.
Green asked the room some challenging questions about their approach to youth ministry, the key message being, 'In all our efforts to be relatable and accessible are we watering down the presence of God?'.
The day was packed with seminars; ‘Nuts and Bolts’ talks and workshops which were led by inspiring speakers from across the Diocese and further afield.
Rachel Gardner (from Youthscape and also a church leader at St Luke’s Blackburn), led a seminar on Meeting Young People Where They Are; Emma Gaze (Elim Churches Limitless Pioneer Project) led a seminar entitled ‘What Next? Starting Something New” and Emmanual Ndambala (musician and youth worker) led a talk on “Creating Space for Young People to Encounter Jesus”.
The lunch break gave the guests an opportunity to meet the speakers, share ideas with one another and browse their generously stuffed goodie bags!
The day was closed by Rev. Claire Cooke’s keynote where she stated that 'young people care about how you love the Lord, and who you are'.
Talking about the inspiring day, Lydia from Burnley said: “I’ve learned about meeting young people where they are and taking those practical steps in how to help them find their identity and how to disciple them. My heart is so full from today and I feel like I’ve got so much good advice to take back to my church."
Another guest commented: “Amazing day, thank you. Feel refreshed and renewed with a brain buzzing. Well done to the whole team!”
Ronnie Semley, October 2023