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No ordinary church service: teens take their stand in Jesus

Christian teenagers inspire church family as they spearhead Christian Unions in their schools

There are some church services that leave us with a deep sense of awe and wonder. There are others that challenge and encourage us, inspiring us to pray more, swear less, work harder or be even quicker to forgive. Then, there are some that, quite frankly and sadly, bore and frustrate us.

But every so often, there are those that leave us knowing that things will not be the same again, where we have encountered God in such a compelling and authentic way that our lives are profoundly and irreversibly changed. I went to one of these services last Sunday.

The service filled me with such hope, that I have not stopped talking about it since. It created in me a fresh enthusiasm for the work I do, made me evermore grateful for the next generation, and left me wanting to punch the air and shout Come on!’ when I woke up the next morning.

It wasn’t the worship (though the band were great). It wasn’t the venue (though that looked cool – with some super-coloured lights). And it wasn’t the speaker (that was me). What made me smile all the way back home were the 10 courageous and inspirational young people who stood at the front to be commissioned to run outward-focused Christian Unions in their schools in the next term. 

It was the fact that they came from different churches from across the town in a beautiful act of unity. It was the army of parents, church leaders and youth workers who had turned out to stand with these teenagers in a show of support and encouragement, cheering them on with the belief that they could see transformation in their school.

We as the church should be deeply proud of them and the thousands of other young people across the country who stand up and stand out by doing the same.

It’s not easy being a young person in 2018. It’s not easy following Jesus. To be a young person in post-Christendom Britain who decides not just to survive in their faith but get on the front foot and try to reach their friends for Jesus requires a serious amount of courage, zeal and character.

This was what I witnessed last Sunday as each teenager stood there in front of their peers with a steely-eyed determination to live differently, follow Jesus wholeheartedly and make Him known to their friends. It was beautiful and inspiring, and we as the church should be deeply proud of them and the thousands of other young people across the country who stand up and stand out by doing the same.

At the Evangelical Alliance we are passionate about being good news and cheering on those who want to be good news to those around them. We are driven by Jesus prayer for unity in John 17 and love it when churches, organisations and individuals pray together, serve together and work together. 

If you long for more mission and unity across our nations, we would love you to join in and join us. If you are discouraged by the challenges faced by the next generation, we would love you to be inspired by this story that is representative of so much wonderful work taking place. If you want ideas and inspiration of what reaching younger generations might look like we would love to help, and you can get in touch with us here.

May we all walk out of churches in the days to come full of hope and profoundly changed, having encountered Jesus.

About the author

Phil Knox is the head of mission to young adults at the Evangelical Alliance. He lives to see people come to know Jesus and Christians inspired and equipped to share their faith. He has a passion for his generation, the local church, loves learning and has degrees in law and mission and evangelism. Phil is married to Dani and they have a son called Caleb. He is an avid runner and footballer, a proud Aston Villa supporter and battles a mild coffee addiction.

See more from Phil Knox

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