Each year thousands of children and young people attend Christian clubs, summer camps, Christian festivals and church events, through which they learn to love Jesus and are part of Christian communities.
As the youth and children's coordinator for Forever, YWAM’s official Olympic outreach team for London 2012, Helena Kittle is passionate about finding ways of mobilizing these children and young people into the mission of sharing God's love to those around them, and to those a bit further afield.
“The United Kingdom has a rich missionary heritage and this generation of children can build upon that heritage. The Olympics is a unique opportunity to do that!” says Kittle.
During the London 2012 Olympics, there will be hundreds of community events happening across the country, in addition to the thousands of visitors from all over the world who will be hosted. In England, 85 percent of adult Christians gave their life to Jesus before the age of 18, and of that number, 70 percent say that the biggest influence on that choice was their peers.
“Youth and children can be agents of transformation!” declares Kittle.
She explains how the Olympic Outreach for kids will work: “In July 2012, among the missions teams, church outreaches and all manner of outreaches, we have two projects that have been specifically planned as vehicles to mobilise British youth and children.”
“Firstly, we have partnered with Scripture Union and Urban Saints to run six large holiday clubs with a twist! We will invite churches that normally run Holiday Bible Clubs to bring their clubs to one of our six host churches within the Olympic cities to join others for a mega Holiday Bible Club!" she says. "These mega clubs will run as normal in the morning using the fantastic Olympic-themed resources from Scripture Union and Urban Saints. In the afternoons the children will have workshops and training to prepare them to go out with our YWAM missions teams to see what God can do through them!”
Older kids can join one of the Olympic city short-term missions teams in conjunction with Soul Survivor called "Just Go!" This program includes a short training camp and trips to the Olympic cities to try different ways of sharing the love of Christ in various locations.
It’s not just for kids, though! Kittle adds, “We also expect to see whole families joining in either of these projects. Those with younger children can join the mega holiday clubs attending the 'Sweaty Church' stream—an all-age resource which is being released next year, or join one of the ‘Just Go!’ teams to any of the Olympic cities.”
The Forever Team believes there is a door of opportunity open for us in 2012 in the U.K. that we cannot miss. Kittle exhorts, “Young people and children are vital agents for what God is already doing, and will continue to do. We want to be ready to join with Him, and create opportunities for the younger generations to join us on this exciting—and sometimes scary—journey!”