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Demanding youth programme launched by Scunthorpe Baptist Church

'The 2:52 Challenge has been developed in order to help young people develop habits that I hope will last a lifetime'

Scunthorpe Baptist Church has launched a demanding new two-year youth programme that is challenging its 16 to 25 year olds to learn and grow as Jesus did. Inspired by a message from Dr John Andrews about Luke 2:52, ‘And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and with man’, the programme includes four key elements.

As Jesus grew in wisdom, participants in the programme are encouraged to learn new skills with a particular focus on life skills; things they won’t necessarily learn at school or college. Core skills that all young people will learn include money management and budgeting, first aid and health and hygiene. And optional extras include anything from expressive arts to DIY.

As Jesus grew in stature, participants in the programme are given personal fitness plans that will enable them to build their stamina and develop their core strength. Young people take turns to cook a healthy meal to share each week and with sessions on nutrition they are being encouraged to learn how to take care of their bodies.

As Jesus grew in favour with God, participants are encouraged to explore and develop their spiritual lives. They don’t have to be a Christian to take part but they do have to be willing to be active in this part of the programme.

As Jesus grew in favour with man, participants are encouraged to take an active part in their local community by volunteering in an area that interests them. They are also encouraged to actively support a charity or campaign that they are passionate about.

Some of the group picked fruit for the Foodbank. The remainder was used to make chutney which was sold to raise money for good causes
The final part of the programme is an Overseas Experience. The young people are asked to put everything they have learned together and put it into practice on a 3-6 week short-term mission. The final week or so will include an endurance challenge that could see participants climbing a mountain, trekking a jungle or camping in the bush.

Alison Robinson, Youth Leadership Development Coordinator said, 'The 2:52 Challenge has been developed in order to help young people develop habits that I hope will last a lifetime. I want to see our young people grow up to look after themselves both physically and spiritually and not be satisfied when they see injustice but know they can make a difference.

'We have around 12 young people signed up to take part in this first round of the programme. They are from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and levels of privilege, with few of them having grown up in the church.'

The Revd Richard Webb, Lead Pastor said, 'This is an exciting programme that I believe can change a generation. For a long time, in our own youth group, we have focused almost entirely on spiritual growth alone. The 2:52 Challenge is incredibly demanding but it is a comprehensive programme that considers the whole person and equips them to get through life’s difficult times.'

You can find out more about 2:52 Challenge at www.252Challenge.co.uk
Tom McDonald, 06/11/2013
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