A Great Start to the Year

In a nutshell
A number of churches in Bradford realised that if they wanted to put on a really credible event for young people, the best thing to do was to work together and pool their resources.
 
Who has done it?
churches in Bradford
Why do it?
Working together allowed the churches to put on bigger, better and much more relevant events than they could do working alone. Local Baptist minister Stuart Gregg said that, ‘The event came from a greater desire to see more co-ordinated, impactful youth work, especially in the south side of Bradford. We knew that we didn’t need to rely on the nearby cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds to put on big events for us; by working together we had enough resources to host something locally.’
 
How did it work?
The first of these HOPE Revolution evenings took place back in January, and saw more than 200 young people gathered downstairs in Bradford University’s student nightclub. These young people were all from churches across the city including St John’s Great Horton, Buttershaw Baptist, New Life Christian Centre and Abundant Life. There was a guest speaker, live hip hop tunes and powerful, hard-hitting, upfront testimonies from the band 29th Chapter. This was just the first of many youth events organised throughout Bradford alongside many other church and community social action projects taking place under the banner of HOPE Bradford.
The Outcome
Local vicar Nick Jones said, Until now, there hasn’t been an opportunity for Christian young people to come together and bring their friends for a fantastic night where they’ll also hear the gospel. We were thrilled to take nearly 30 – most of them totally unchurched – to HOPE Revolution. They were well up for the message and the challenge of becoming revolutionaries. Seven responded and became Christians, and we are setting up a nurture cell for them; praise God! We want to see our city turned around and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it’s our young revolutionaries who are going to do it.’
He continued, It was also immensely encouraging to see many young people symbolically stand up that evening, declaring their desire to be revolutionaries living “all-out” for Jesus. There was an opportunity for young people to receive group prayer afterwards, to unpack the evening’s teaching and reiterate the “DNA” of a revolutionary: God changing and using them to articulate their own stories of faith; to talk, listen and pray for their peers, and through personal testimony, courageous witness and creative mission, carry the hope of God’s story throughout the year of HOPE and beyond.’
Top tips
·         Work with other churches in order to pool resources, budget and foster ownership.
·         Plan well in advance for an event of this size.
·         Pick a venue that’s neutral and where young people feel comfortable; such as a nightclub or sports hall.
·         Underpin everything in regular prayer.