Hope Revolution - Reaching Young People
For far too many young people today, God is irrelevant and church is a completely alien concept. Teenagers face a reality that often involves bullying, knife and gun crime, sexual pressure, break up of families, the strain of exams. These young people need to know hope; they need to know that God not only exists but cares about what they’re going through.
We have an incredible challenge before us to reach a whole generation of young people, to help them to see that God is not only real but can make a difference in their lives. Statistics tell us that 75% of Christians make their commitment to Jesus before they are 21 so this is not an area we can choose to ignore without putting the future of the church into peril. The way to do it? Through other young people. The HOPE Revolution is about two things: firstly getting young people in church excited about their God and their mission field. Secondly it’s about equipping them with the ideas and skills so they can reach other young people for Jesus.
Since the HOPE Revolution kicked off, we’ve been amazed and delighted at how many young people have signed up to say they want to be part of Jesus’ Revolution (over 7,000 within the first 12 months!). Over the next few pages you’ll find some inspiring stories of what they, and others, got up to, with encouraging tales of innovative – or just plain simple – ways young people and their churches found to reach out to young people in their area. Be inspired and think creatively about what you could be doing in your neighbourhood in the years to come!
The HOPE Revolution Website
The Revolution has a dedicated youth site (www.hope-revolution.com) that provides resources, material and inspiration to young people. It’s an interactive site where HOPE Revolutionaries can submit what’s going on in their part of the country through the ‘My Area’ section of the site, as well as getting Weekly Challenges emailed from the HOPE team that focus on the key aspects of the Revolution: ‘Change Me, Change My Friends, Change My Community and Change My World’. Multimedia testimonies, Bible studies and other features all seek to encourage, equip and inspire Revolutionaries to stay in touch and these have been well used. Over 1200 young people have signed up for the weekly updates giving challenges, encouragement and stories via email.
Additionally, thousands of young people have been socially networked through a Facebook profile and group (1700+), a MySpace profile (720+), YouTube stream (750+ channel views) and Bebo account (120+) to promote and share events to draw young people back to the main site as a vehicle for information sharing.
What teenagers have said about the HOPE Revolution . . .
‘HOPE Revolution, I salute you! This is awesome stuff! You've inspired my Christian Union . . . We have trebled in size this year and hope for even more in the coming year. Keep up the good work!’ John, 15
‘The HOPE Revolution day in Sheffield was awesome. I went and had one of the best days ever. I will now live differently in every way!’ Rachel, 14
‘This year I shared the gospel with some of my mates on msn. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be and one of them even became a Christian. He came to New Wine with me this summer.’ Paul, 16
‘I would like the project we ran as part of HOPE Revolution to happen again because it’s made a huge difference in my area and three of my friends became Christians and loads of people saw God's work in action though us. Can you ask for much more?’ Sarah, 15
‘Last summer we went as a small group from our church to Soul Survivor for the first time, there were about 15 of us max. This year we took a coach.’ Ethan, 16
‘On the last day of our HOPE Revolution mission eight of my friends became Christians and loads of other people became Christians too. It was awesome!’ Lizzie, 17