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Youth Column: Keep the Momentum

Youth Column: Keep the Momentum

Tuesday January 15

In the first of a new series written by Church of Scotland members under 30, Catriona Munro urges the Church to build on the progress of the Year of Young People

Catriona Munro with Robin Downie, then Moderator of the NYA, launching the Year of Young People toolkit


“Stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for Him is worthwhile.”

1 Corinthians 15: 58

After a busy year of equipping, encouraging and inspiring the young people of the church, now is the perfect time to look back and reflect on all that Year of Young People (YoYP) offered.

Congregations up and down the country were quick and eager to take up the theme and highlight all that their young people had to offer, and as a young person myself, the year certainly brought about many opportunities to engage, participate and celebrate within the church. At a time where the church finds itself perhaps lacking the number of young people in pews we would wish, it has been a heartening year to find congregations get behind this initiative and get behind the young people we have.

As Clerk of the National Youth Assembly (NYA) in 2017, during my term I was given the chance to visit Shetland and engage with the congregations who were working hard to inspire and encourage the youth across their community. As well as attending a concert by and for young people, and walking nine miles around the island, interacting with people from a variety of churches, and denominations; I was given the chance to share a bit of my faith journey with one congregation during their celebratory YoYP service. Something I always find to be a joy and extremely worthwhile. In speaking with those at local churches we get a valuable insight to the fascinating faith journeys of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

On a similar note, I was invited to participate in one of a series of roadshows held across the country to get people from local congregations taking about ways to encourage and build up the young people in their situations. These roadshows offered a unique chance for sharing stories and ideas with one another, drawing upon the inspirations within the YoYP toolkit, and again it was a privilege to share in each others stories as we built up a picture of what connecting with young people
looked like across a region.

At an even bigger level, the General Assembly was the perfect opportunity for young people to gather and share their experiences with the wider church, and it was a night of real celebration as the Assembly Halls played host to “Walking Together” – a celebration of just some of the work young people were doing across the country. From leading worship in praise bands to serving as elders and leading BB groups, there was no shortage of enthusiasm and real pleasure the young people had in telling their stories.

While YoYP offered the perfect chance to highlight all young people have to offer, it is worth remembering that we needn’t wait for such initiatives as YoYP to propel us into recognising our young people’s gifts – indeed this should be an everyday duty as we involve our children and youth in the day to day running of our churches. We must get to know our young people as individuals and give then a platform to use their gifts.

YoYP offered young people a platform to show their gifts and get involved, and while the official Year of Young People is behind us, our young people are very much still present. Let us therefore keep the momentum, continue the celebration and always be engaging them, walking with them in their journey with Christ, sharing with them in our faith and experiences and learning from theirs, together.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22: 6.


If you are under 30 and involved in the Church of Scotland, and would be interested in writing for this column, please contact us on magazine@lifeandwork.org