One of the biggest challenges for a local churches is maintaining its work with children and young people down the years. Having a group for all ages is part of what it means to be a thriving church.

Groups for children are not an optional extra for two reasons.

Firstly, if we want to see our young people grow in faith, we cannot feed them with an adult diet. They have to be taught their faith in an age-appropriate way by people who care for them. We thank God for the many leaders who do that for us Sunday by Sunday here in church.

However, there is another vital reason.

A church which does not provide a children’s work will very quickly find it parents choose to go elsewhere. They will need to find somewhere else that makes provision for their children. That is a very dangerous road to go down.

We thank God that Liz Gardner is willing to continue leading Challengers and that she is working towards a weekend away with a young people in October. But we cannot leave her to do that on her own. She needs the support of another leader after Easter.

God provides within a local church those people who are gifted to do what needs to be done. We did not expect to find a treasurer when Andrew stepped down. But James heard the call of God and stepped forward. Now we have another urgent issue before us and we ask all our members to ask whether God might be calling them to serve in this way, to make a difference in the lives of our young people.