Youth workers play vital role in Kirk

Gigha Lennox
Gigha Lennox

Youth work is vitally important to the Church of Scotland, a former member of the National Youth Assembly has said.

Gigha Lennox, Children’s and Youth Worker at St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church, Edinburgh explains why she thinks the role she and many others play is essential to the future.

When people ask what I do, I take pride in saying that I am a Children’s and Youth Worker for a Church of Scotland congregation.

Two years ago at this time I had not attended church regularly, or even barely at all since I was 15 years old. At the time I went, like so many teenagers, off to college and lost the connection with my church.

Nurture and love

However, because I attended a youth group which had nurtured my faith I never lost my connection with God.

When I returned to the church in Christmas 2014, I made a vow to follow the call the Lord put before me and this has led me to aim to be the person who provides that nurture and love to today’s children and young people so they can experience the same everlasting connection with our Lord.

Working with children and young people of course involves all kinds of fun and energetic games and ever time consuming, but my personal favourite, crafts. This is just part of creating that safe and open place for children and young people to come together in fellowship.

It is about having time and space for them to feel heard, accepted and inspired to explore their faith.

We all travel through our journey of faith differently, and God travels with us in many ways, but we also need people around us to help us through all the twists and turns of that journey, be there to support and encourage our times of searching and our times of enlightenment and value our voice in the crowd.

I believe that this is hugely important for every child and young person within the church as they learn and grow in their faith; having people around them that care about what they think and feel about God, about Church and about life.

Grow in faith

I believe children’s and youth work, whether paid or voluntary is a vital part of the Church today, because children and young people are a vital part of the life of the Church.

A lot of people say they are the future of our Church - while that is one way of putting it, I believe they, along with the rest of our congregations, are the intergenerational present of our church who all grow in faith together.

I feel the quote by Frank.A.Clark is very accurate, in which he said: ‘There’s nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child’.