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Lifelong disciples of Jesus - that's what we want for the children and young people we know. So why do many give up on their faith in their teenage years or as they enter adult life? What strategies can we employ so that faith matures rather than dies?
Research from the Fuller Youth Institute suggests that it's never too early or too late to start developing a faith that grows and lasts - 'Sticky Faith'.
We want to look at the research and its conclusions, then explore the implications of this for parents, youth and children's workers and church leaders.
Sticky Faith has already proved to be popular with lots of people. But why? In essence, the strap line ‘establishing a faith that lasts’ is at the heart of what those working with children and young people long to see happen. Therefore, this training has very much been ‘scratching where people are itching’. The stats suggest that there is a huge drop off when young people go off to university with many giving up on church and Christian activities. For many working with children and young people, this situation is heart breaking and they are desperate to do all they can to reverse this tide.
The training seeks to look at the findings of the research carried out by the Fuller Youth Institute and then apply this to our own situations. Having considered what ‘Sticky Faith’ looks like and what some of the stumbling blocks to it are, delegates have the opportunity to explore how to put this into practice at church, home and school.
One of the key findings is the importance of helping young people develop a web of relationships at church from a broad range of ages. How this is done will vary from church to church, but it is vital that churches look at how they can involve and integrate children and young people as fully as possible into the life of the church. Parents are challenged to consider how best to talk to their children about faith and how to develop practices in the home that allow faith to be seen and experienced as naturally as possible.
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