From whispers to waves

Actively listening to the voices of children and young people and partnering with them to transform their concerns, dreams, and aspirations into concrete actions.

"I think one of the barriers has been that we're trying to get young people into the church, but not really leading them to Jesus...

"From my own experience of like going out evangelising to young people, a lot of them have heard about church, but not many of them have actually ever heard the Gospel."

Seven ways to amplify the voices of children and young people in your parish

If your church community encompassess children, families and young people, why not encourage them to participate in one of the actitives below? These activities have been designed to provide them with a platform to be heard within your parish.

One thing I wish for

Provide a space where young people can anonymously share one thing they wish for in the church or their personal faith journey. This could be a wish for a new activity, a change in the way things are done, or a personal aspiration.

Review these wishes regularly to understand and address the needs and desires of young congregants.

Gratitude jar

Place a jar in a common area with paper and pens nearby. Invite young people to write down something they're grateful for and drop it into the jar.

Periodically, during youth meetings or services, read some of these gratitude notes aloud. It's a simple way to foster positivity and thankfulness.

Emoji reaction board

Set up a board in your group where you are planning to run a sermon topic/biblical story/session that term and invite young people to place emoji stickers next to it to show how they feel about it. This fun and modern approach can help them express their reactions in a way that feels familiar and engaging.

This opens discussion on what they might respond and engage with the most and helps with your planning!

"Today I pray for.." wall

Provide a space where young individuals can write down their prayers for the day on sticky notes and stick them on a wall or board. You may find not all young people wish to have their prayers up on a wall but may prefer them to be stuck in a prayer journal.

This visual representation of their prayers not only personalises their experience but also allows others in the community to pray for these intentions as well. This could also be a great intergenerational approach: have adults sticking their prayers on the wall too and have children and young people praying.

Dream big board

Set up a board where young people can post their big dreams for the future - both for themselves and for the church community. This not only allows them to dream and plan but also gives church leaders insight into the hopes and desires of the younger generation, which can inform future planning and activities.

Question box

Place a box in a common area where young members can anonymously submit questions, concerns, or suggestions about the church or their faith. Dedicate a part of your services or meetings to address these submissions.

This method encourages them to voice their thoughts without the pressure of speaking up in a group.

Feedback sessions

Regularly host casual feedback sessions, perhaps over snacks or a meal, where young people can speak openly about what they like about the church, what they don't like, and how they feel they could be better engaged. Making these sessions informal helps ensure that they feel comfortable sharing their true thoughts and ideas.

If you have stories or ideas on how you’re listening to young voices, we’d really like to hear about it. Please drop us an email at Your experiences mean a lot to us.

Page last updated: Friday 15th March 2024 8:24 AM
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