Over the last year James Vaughton has been working on a piece of research into discipleship of young people. James has met with young people, youth workers and parents to better understand how they see discipleship and then importantly to consider what a church that disciples young people well feels like and does.

We recognise that there are some big challenges in this area for organisations like YFC and local churches. James has been working in partnership with Bath Deanery and recently shared the report with local Anglican church leaders.

The report, Shaping the church to disciple young people is now published. The report is now available on our website (just click here) Please download it, read it and consider how you might be able to respond to the findings.

The conversations produced all sorts of interesting findings. Encouragingly, those James spoke with placed a high value on discipleship. When asked what a church that disciples young people well feels like, respondents cited the importance of a sense of family, a safe place. They talked about a place that feels alive and a community that values them and their involvement.

How can churches work towards homely living and valuing communities? It is all rooted in relationship. This is not surprising, and yet sadly is still seen as really difficult to embed in busy church life; often at the mercy of programmes, initiatives and maintaining buildings. Discipleship of young people needs to be relationship led and driven. Once this is in place key things were that young people needed were, to encounter and experience Jesus, to see discipleship modelled and to be involved in shaping the church community.

Alongside these things was the need for churches to resource the discipleship of young people and support parents in the discipleship of their children.

If you would like to contribute to the conversation or invite James to come and speak to your church about this research then please do get in touch with James via the Wiltshire YFC office. Download the report here.