“The time and context were right for a new response.”
Vicki Gale (FYT Regional Activist and RE teacher) talks about the chronos and kairos timing of starting something new post pandemic.
It’s all in the timing
If there are 9 stages to pioneering youth ministry, we skipped a few and started half way. I’m an RE teacher in the local secondary school, so I already had relationships with many of the young people. And for us the timing of all this has been key.
The Greek has two words for time, Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is the actual time. Kairos is “the appointed time in the purpose of God”. Starting Hangout has been a kairos moment. School is hard work for our young people. School staff are stressed. There is a lot of pressure to catch up after covid. Mental health among us all is at an all-time low. The time and context were right for a new response.
We spent so much time with God to understand this timing and recognise the divine appointments he set for us. We are using our new church space to offer young people the opportunity to come and be and chill with friends, in a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment. Hangout – that’s what we called it – is a drop-in youth club working with secondary age young people in Blackpool. We’re in a parish of 6000 people on the Mereside estate, a place often overlooked by those outside.
We started Hangout in February 2022 following discussions with young people in the area, and now we have a weekly drop in group, offering a place to “be”, play board games, chill, do homework, chat and eat. We have been directed by the young people and developed their ideas to start what we have now. We want Hangout to be young person led, with us getting alongside them to make things happen. We hope to see the club evolve as the work becomes more defined and natural groups emerge from the larger group. Then, we will consider taking some calculated risks and organising trips, projects, 1-2-1 work and residentials.
It’s all in the timing.
“This is the best thing that’s ever happened. I can’t believe I am running a youth group. Nothing we do will make it better!” (Zach and Sienna, junior leaders aged 14)
Vicki Gale is an RE Teacher and volunteer youth leader in Blackpool. Vicki is joining the FYT team to support new youth projects in the North of England.
This article was taken from the Spring 2022 edition of the FYT Zine – Here and Now. The full Zine can be downloaded here: