YP 1

One of the things I love most in life is seeing children and young people decide to be followers of Jesus. Whether they come to a quiet realisation that being a disciple of Christ has become their top priority, or whether they make a memorable decision on a specific day is immaterial. What I rejoice in is the fact that they have started a magnificent and demanding journey that will hopefully shape the rest of their lives on earth and on into eternity. They have decided to pursue relationship with Jesus as the top priority.

Those who work with children and young people regularly in church settings will know that there is great joy in accompanying them on those journeys of faith. Some may give up, others wander away for a while and then return, but those who stay the course are an inspiration.

I wonder when you decided that being a Christian was your primary orientation in life? For many of us, it was a step we took or a realisation we came to sometime in the first two decades of our lives. There is an openness to God and his call in those early years that can become overlaid with the demands of life as we get older.

That is one of the reasons why we need to pray ‘Thy kingdom come’ for the younger generations. This is a specific and glorious opportunity for us to help children and young people, young parents and families, to discover Christian faith. We can help them lay strong foundations for a lifetime of being committed disciples.

In the Church of England, we are committed to embracing the challenge. As part of our Vision andStrategy, we have set an aim of Doubling the number of children and young active disciples in the Church of England by 2030.


Yes, really. We long to see today’s generations of young people discover the love of God in Christ.

I have been part of the team working specifically on this goal since November, and it has certainly challenged me to pray hard. This sort of goal is one we can only achieve in God’s way and by God’s power. We are utterly dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit to see this happen. And so we put prayer first in all we do, and encourage others to pray. Over and over and over again.

And, even if we reach the goal by 2030, that still accounts for only a small proportion of the under 18s in the country (13-14 million). There is no room for complacency.

At the start of the Lord’s Prayer we pray ‘Our Father in heaven’ because God is Father of all his children in ever place and of every age, and God longs for all to know his love. What a privilege it is to address God as Father – a parent who knows us through and through, and loves us utterly. What a privilege it is to be followers of Jesus – our saviour and friend. What a privilege it is to know the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We long to share these privileges with younger generations. We long to see them build their lives, in an uncertain world, on Jesus the rock. We long to see them show and share the love of Christ in their lives, in their schools and college, in their clubs and sports activities, in their friendship groups and online networks. So we pray daily ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ for them.

Will you join us?


Praying for doubling the number of children and young active disciples in the Church of England by 2030