The Growing Younger Course: for ordained leaders in the Diocese of St Albans
The Growing Younger Course is designed to enable senior leaders and clergy to create an informed, unique strategy for their specific context which will enable them to “Grow Younger”, particularly in the area of children and families.
The course is made up of five, two hour sessions delivered through online teaching and facilitated activities. In between sessions, participants will have a few hours of video content, reading, or reflection activities to help them explore and develop their strategic plan. Over the course, participants will be supported to discern what growing younger looks like in their specific context, and develop a strategy plan for encouraging children and families to embed within their church communities. Each cohort will have leaders available to consult with and partner with as they try out their initial steps.
Rachel Turner has worked within family, youth and children’s ministry for over 18 years. After serving full-time in multiple churches, she then went on to found Parenting for Faith in partnership with BRF. Through this project Rachel created multiple online courses, resources and podcasts to enable parents and carers to disciple their children. She also created material to support church leaders to create a parenting for faith culture within their communities. She is an international speaker and the author of ten books.
How will the course be delivered?
Online with a mixture of self-study and group coaching sessions. Our team will be in touch ahead of the course start date to confirm online platform codes.
When will the course be delivered?
In order for this course to be light and do-able within the busy life of a leader, the sessions will be held once a month, with a break for the summer.
The training will begin on Wednesday 3rd May 2023, 10am-12noon, and continue on the first Wednesday of the month (7th June, 5th July, 6th September, 4th October).
How much does the course cost?
This course is funded by the Diocese of St Albans.
SESSION 1 - Debunking five lies about Growing Younger
Often what hinders church leaders from embracing the growing younger journey are assumptions they hold and experiences they have had in the past. Using current research, we will look at how children and families are discipled, theologically and practically, and explore the biblical model of how a faith community grows younger while embracing all generations. At the end of the session, church leaders will have been encouraged to go on the journey to find their own unique expression of how children and families may integrate into their church, rather than a cookie cutter model and be equipped to take stock of their own church and communities shape.
SESSION 2 - Recentering the everyday
The first layer of children and young people’s discipleship is in the everyday, the households and family structures they are in. This creates a massive opportunity for churches to not only disciple the young, but create self-repeating patterns of generational discipleship. If we want to grow younger, then we must centre parents at the heart of our work. This session will explore current parental culture, effective methods of communication and equipping parents in their spiritual roles, and how to disciple parents and children alongside each other.
SESSION 3 - Plugging In – What children and young people need to flourish spiritually
The church plays a vital role in not just supporting parents, but in the direct engagement with children. The church programmes offer unique opportunities for spiritual discipleship that are significant if the church is to Grow Younger. This session will explore how the church is positioned to empower children in their role within the faith community, develop intergenerational relationships that benefits all ages, and how to enable children to encounter God and people who love him and explore their faith.
SESSION 4 - The strength of community
A key component of Growing Younger is that all congregation members would feel empowered and valued within that pursuit. If our churches are to grow with more children and families, then a culture change needs to occur that empowers the older generations within that journey too. Children need the older generations, parents need the older generation, and the older generations can be blessed by and strengthened by the younger. This session explores the needs of the older generation so that we as leaders can enact culture change models that take the congregation along the Growing Younger journey with us. We also look at the skills we can give our congregations to feel confident and effective as the church adds children and families.
SESSION 5 - Putting it together
Using what we have explored so far, this session will look at each participant identifying the next steps for their church and ensuring they have everything they need to take those steps well. We shall lay out strategy, troubleshoot concerns, and ensure the pathways are clear for participants.