WMC: June 2017
3Generate's continued growth — new venue due to increasing demand
27 June 2017
The Methodist Youth President, Tim Annan, has told the Methodist Conference, meeting in Birmingham, about the continued growth of the Church's annual gathering for young people including a move to a new venue to meet increasing numbers.
The 3Generate event last November saw more than 600 young people and adults attend, having grown from just over 220 when it began in 2012.
This year will see further growth with the move to Pontins in Southport to accommodate more than 900 young people and leaders — a 360% growth in just five years. Tickets for the event in November are close to selling out.
Participants at the event also discuss issues of faith and community that they want the wider Church to be aware of and to address, which are turned into manifestoes presented to the Conference.
Tim Annan, who was elected Youth President at the 2015 3Generate event, and began his year in office last September, introduced the 3Generate report by saying: "It is my privilege to present this report, which contains just a fraction of the living, vibrant story of children and youth work within this Methodist community."
He issued a challenge to all local churches about increasing the support and engagement with young people: "3Generate is an event, but it is a small part of a year round process that the entire church can engage with and should! You don't have to go to the event to be part of that process. Within our church families, we have contact with 170,370 children, young people and families weekly; 13.94% of all those that attend on a Sunday, on average, are under 20 years old.
"There are many ways in which we can all engage with this process, and many churches engage with this process in authentic, vibrant ways and we need to hear about these instances more!"
"I hope and pray that we get to the point that 3Generate is not the only place where we hear the voice of the children and young people. I pray we get to a point where the voice of children and young people are heard louder and more clearly in each of our local churches, rather than just at a large event in November.
"The only way we can achieve this vision is by actively engaging, funding and supporting children and youth work at a grass-roots level of the church year-round. Let us not be complacent in thinking this will just happen."
Jude Levermore, Head of Discipleship and Ministries in the Connexional Team, said: "I'm hugely encouraged by this growth in the engagement of children and young people. In these difficult times this is good news for our church and for the communities in which they are placed, but it is also good news for the world — who knows what God might do through them?"
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