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Faith in God, Faith in Young People, Faith in Yourself!

Wednesday 26th July 2017

Sunday 4th June, Pentecost Sunday. Happy birthday church. Another year of witness across many different denominations completed. Many more years, and challenges, to come!

The world, our countries, cities, towns, communities and worship communities are facing challenges, many the same as before our time and many unprecedented. The question “what is normal?” does not have a set answer and is consistent with many situations in the past.

Consider, for a moment, the situation of the Apostles. It was fifty days since Jesus had risen and they were still very nervous and even afraid to be seen following the traumatic death of Jesus.

“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” Acts 2:2-4 (NRSV)

Immediately these nervous and fearful Apostles stood up and declared the Gospel of Jesus to the crowds in Jerusalem. What a transformation!

The young people we as BB leaders have the honour of serving, (or can serve if they can be attracted to our organisation,) are described as Generation Z or iGen. Most members of Gen Z or iGen don’t remember a time before social media. They are highly educated, they want to make a difference in the world and they are more diverse than the Millennials who preceded them.

These are the young people we are working with and the young people we must also reach out to. God loves us unconditionally and I believe this marvellous message must go out to all young people. Just as we face unprecedented challenges and changes, as did the Apostles, we can confidently have Faith in God, Faith in young people and Faith in Ourselves as BB leaders! The BB has a distinct role to play in the lives of young people and we should never be distracted with structural changes in BB life, the life of our worship communities or even the life in the communities in which we live and work.

We must be focussed on enriching the lives of young people and sowing the seeds for a future generation that will continue to make the world a better place whilst working to achieve God’s will here on earth.

Mark Acheson


Mark Acheson is a Junior Section Leader in the 12th Dublin Company (due to celebrate their 125th anniversary next November), a Brigade Training Officer and National Chaplain for the Republic of Ireland District. Mark is a Diocesan Lay Reader for the Church of Ireland (Anglican) United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.

Mark is currently a member of the Christian Faith Group (CFG) for the BB centrally. Watch out for news on resources for working with young people and their faith development. CFG is working towards providing and pointing to good online Christian resources for activities and learning.

Married to Jean for 32 years, they have a daughter, Kim, and son, Sam, both currently at University in Dublin. Mark took an early retirement from the insurance world “to see what else life can offer”. Mark likes ‘people-centred’ activities, in particular his parish involvement, watching movies, reading the occasional book and playing mindless games on his laptop.

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