Express Brings Retro-Cool to 11-14 Year Olds
Grease is the Word might be ITV's biggest hit in years but it has nothing on Express, the event for 11-14 year olds run by Norwich Youth For Christ. St Catherine's Church on Mile Cross in Norwich is the venue, but you would never guess it was a church when Express takes over as the whole church is transformed into a funky 50's Diner!
“I was amazed when I saw the way the team transformed the building. It was really exciting to see the church being used in this way and the response of the young people. I think it's a great event for any youth leader to bring their 11-14 year olds too, I'd thoroughly recommend it,” said Paul Mackay, Vicar of St Catherine's Church.
The purpose of Express is to present the Gospel to non-Christian young people or those on the fringes of church, in a relevant, exciting, and unforgettable way.
“We all know that reaching and keeping 11 – 14 year olds is a challenge. They require a certain style of communication that isn't always that straight forward to provide. One of the biggest challenges within youth ministry is how do you bridge the gap between a youth club environment and church. Express can be part of the answer. Already in just the first couple of Express events we have seen lots of young people making personal commitments to follow Jesus Christ,” said Matt Gooch of Norwich Youth for Christ.
NYFC and its team of 30 dedicated volunteers really go to town for Express. Mark Tuma of NYFC said, “We put a huge amount of time and effort into creating each Express event, I think last time it was probably something like eighty man hours! We think its all worth it because the young people come in and they know this has all been done for them. It completely floors them because on the outside it looks like a parish church but on the inside the sets, the technology and the the team make it completely different!”
“Mum, please can I come again, and can I start going to Rock Solid again?” was a comment heard from one young person as they left the church. She had stopped going to her local Rock Solid club (youth club), but she had such a good time at Express and met her old club again that she wanted to be part of it again.
Matt Gooch said, “We would love to see more people attend this event. It is something new, creative and very effective. It does a fantastic job of communicating relevantly to those who attend, and there is always an opportunity for them to respond to the gospel. We highly recommend this event to any youth leader working with 11-14 yr olds.”
The next Express is on the 15th June, 7.30pm – 9.30pm, £1.00 entrance. For more information please call the NYFC office on 01603 620678 or email Matt.