Since 1906 Urban Saints (and formerly Crusaders) has been committed to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to thousands of children and young people across the UK and Ireland – primarily through the passion and commitment of tens of thousands of trained and resourced volunteers running outreach groups.
Young people (aged 3 to 18+) connect with the movement in a variety of ways, including weekly youth groups, special events, holidays, community projects and training programmes. These activities are led by thousands of volunteers who are comprehensively trained and supported in order to help them work effectively and achieve the highest possible standards of youth work practice. Whilst much of our work is in the UK and Ireland, increasingly we are helping indigenous churches within countries in the developing world to set up and run outreach work among un-churched children and young people.
Judges 2:10 is a foundational scriptural challenge for our ministry. It speaks about a whole generation of children and young people who grew up (after Joshua) who did not know God or the miracles He had done. It’s a shocking verse, and it feels especially true in 21st Century contemporary western society.
And yet we know that God is longing for every generation to know Him. Psalm 78:4, 6-7 is another foundational scripture for Urban Saints, reminding us of God’s heart for every child, in every generation.
“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders…so the next generation might know them — even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.”
We long to see the reality of Psalm 78:4,6-7 in this, and future generations. It’s what gets us up in the morning! Our dream is to see a movement of children and young people who will bring the good news of Jesus to every generation, in every nation.
We long to see the rising generation restored into a life-giving, eternal relationship with God through Christ - that they would be released to take their place and have their voice, stepping up and taking responsibility for their life and their world.
We long to see the rising generation understand that Jesus calls them into a risk-embracing, world-changing adventure: 24/7, whole-life discipleship - that their creativity would be fanned into flame, pioneering what we can’t even imagine, birthing new expressions of church to reach those we cannot reach.
We long to see the rising generation have the freedom to take risks – knowing that sometimes they’ll succeed and other times they’ll fail – but learning so much from both.
We long to see young people present a challenge to dominating, repressive or consumer-dominated cultures. Where they are cherished, adored, and nurtured by the body of Christ into living lives of justice and generosity. Doing more with God, and more for God, than we could ever imagine. Understanding that God can only use people who are broken, weak, vulnerable and available to Him (so that they fully depend on Him).
We long to see the rising generation healed and whole – that it is well with their soul - becoming all that God created them to be; that they would fly, that they would soar; that our ceiling would become their floor.
We long to see the rising generation learn, love and live the Word of God – living supernatural, extraordinary, miraculous lives in the power of God’s Spirit.
We long to see the rising generation shine like stars, showing everyone they meet the best way of living life, with grace and truth; making Jesus famous wherever they go – that they become passionate, unswerving baton carriers of the Kingdom to every generation and every nation.
We long to see whole families restored into a vital, new-found faith in Christ – with parents equipped to nurture their own children in the faith, discovering His new ways of being and serving together.
This is our Psalm 78:4,6-7 dream which drives why we exist.