The overall theme of TCF’s services in 2019 is “What does it mean to be a disciple?” and on the first Sunday of each month we have our Un series of sermons eg Unselfie, Unpopular, Undead and Uncertain.
Our guest speaker for the service in June was Euan Johnstone of Young Life International – a perfect speaker to deliver the Uncertain sermon in our Un series on discipleship. Let’s face it who would like to be a teenager today with the stress from exams, social media, a time when life choices are looming, such as employment or university, not to mention relationships?
Young Life International offers a genuine investment in young adults around the world and, more recently, in Perth.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14
In order to share the gospel “you have to go to their turf” – that was the founding principle of Young Life when it began in America in the 1940s.
Staff and volunteers started building relationships with teenagers in schools and inviting them to summer camps which offered adventure, relationship and meaning – providing a space to build strong friendships and an opportunity to explore the message of the gospel. Since then, Young Life has grown exponentially in the US and is now in over 100 countries around the world.
Young Life International (ie: Young Life outside the US) arrived in Hertford, England around 20 years ago and is now in multiple areas with over 300 staff and volunteers across the UK, including North East Fife and Edinburgh.
Don’t miss this opportunity in Perth
Euan Johnstone started as a volunteer in St Andrews and was so struck by this model and by seeing children committing to Jesus that he is now on staff and is establishing Young Life International in Perth, Scotland.
Over the last couple of years Euan has built up a network of local contacts in churches and school administrations and fostered partnerships with a variety of organisations.
“We still hold to the belief that initially you have to meet kids ‘on their turf’. That might mean over lunch time at school or on a Friday night at the South Inch or even when they are out drinking on the streets of Perth. From there we can build relationships and invite them to Young Life activities such weekly clubs packed with fun and games and a gospel message at the end.”
“We also have our hugely popular camp site Cairn Brae, the only one we have in the UK, at Loch Monzievaird just outside Crieff. It has over 20 self-catering lodges and throughout the summer we run a variety of age-specific camps, where kids between the ages of 11 and 18 go with their local leaders to have ‘the best week of their life!’
The camps are a safe haven where people care about each other and where kids are away from day to day distractions, including their mobile phones! There is lots of fun and games, a youth club-type event every day, canoeing and kayaking and meals are enjoyed together served at tables. What’s not to like? For many children, they only have one or two short periods a week at church for bible study. These camps offer daily study and discussion with their leaders and time to wrestle with the bigger questions.
Euan is keen to stress: “It’s a wonderful resource for local churches with multiple points of entry for kids of a wide range of ages to go deeper in their faith. I would like to encourage any church leaders to please get in touch for more information.”
Can you help?
The future growth of Young Life Intl. in Perth is largely down to local people who might be willing to commit and invest in local teenagers on a regular basis.
“It’s still early days, but already we are seeing God at work, and would love to see more people joining us on this exciting journey. Right now, we’re looking to establish a local committee to bring local knowledge and local ownership to the work in Perth” said Euan.
“In fact” he continued “I am urgently looking for a committee Chairman who has a strong desire to advocate for Young Life Intl. in Perth and who might also like to take ownership for finding committee members. This is a big prayer request of mine!”