As Tim Hastie-Smith steps down as Scripture Union’s National Director, he reflects on the change that your support has helped to bring about. And incoming National Director Myles MacBean looks forward to helping the church reach the next generation.
‘We live in an era where God is calling us to leave our comfort zones,’ says Tim. ‘We have to, if the 95% of children and young people who aren’t part of a church are going to hear the good news of Jesus.
‘So it was a calculated risk for us to pilot new models of mission. But it was a risk that has paid off. Last year, we shared the good news with over ten thousand children and young people with no church background. And we discovered that many of them are just as receptive to the good news of Jesus as generations gone by, and hungry to know more!
‘The next challenge is how to walk with them on that journey of spiritual
discovery. Some young people will come to a church on a Sunday morning.
"Last year, we shared the good news with over ten thousand children and young people with no church background"
But many can’t – perhaps they can’t get there, or they have to do school sport on a Sunday morning. Others are starting so far back in their knowledge and understanding of Christianity that going straight into church may simply confuse them, and they need some sort of “halfway house”.
‘And churches are starting to recognise this. They are far more open to the idea of creating “church” around the needs of today’s young people than they were when I joined SU. That major, positive change is one which you, our supporters, have helped to bring about through your faithful prayers, donations and volunteering. I’m very grateful to you.’
Next year, Tim hopes to start helping churches in Gloucester Diocese to create new paradigms of church for the next generation. Meanwhile, he’ll work alongside new SU National Director Myles MacBean to ensure a smooth handover.
Tim says, ‘Myles is the right person at the right time. He understands children and young people, having worked with them in church and with SU. He knows how to use new technology to communicate with them, having run web businesses for Disney Corporation. And he has experience of building effective, creative organisations.’
Welcome Myles MacBean
As a fresh new teenage Christian, leading at an SU camp proved pivotal to Myles’ faith journey as he explains: ‘I‘d never met young men whose passion for Jesus was as strong as their passion for sport!’ Following a career in business and a vocation as a church elder and preacher, Myles completed a theology degree and served the church in Malawi for several years.
He says, ‘Under Tim’s leadership, SU has created innovative mission models that work in today’s world. Now we need to mobilise a movement of like-minded churches and mission organisations. Working together, we can equip and empower the Christian community to use our shared resources
At this exciting time, please pray that the momentum you’ve helped to build will be strengthened, the movement will grow and even more children may get the chance to discover Jesus.
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