Why Are They Leaving God?

Sally is getting ready to go to university this September and she is like many others in her class. The time that a teenager graduates from high school and enters college or university is an important step in their lives. Often at this moment they transition from being their parents' child to an adult. And as many students say, "Adulting is hard!!"

Through these transitions so many decisions need to be made:

  • Who will be my friends?
  • What should I study?
  • What will my career be? 
  • Who can I trust? 
  • Is my future spouse here? 
  • How will I shape 'me'?

With so many things out of control these days, Sally will try to find things that she is able to control.  It might be impossible to find a job in her field that she enjoys, buy a house in the city, or find a husband; but she can control what she believes. 

This Renegotiating Faith study shows the impact of this moment in the life of Canadians 18-28 years old who have spent significant time in church. Why are 66% of Canadian young adults leaving the church? How can we help students like Sally from walking away from the faith that she grew up with? 

Power to Change partnered with other Canadian Christian organizations to try to find answers to these questions. The study is extensive, and the executive summary (pages 10-13) is a very helpful overview.  We found this helpful to put words to what we observe on campus everyday. I hope reading this gives you a glimpse into our everyday battle for souls on campus.  Click Here to get the report and more information about the study.

 In the end of July, we had the joy of gathering with the Power to Change staff from all 10 ministries plus support staff from across Canada.  Such a blessing it is to celebrate what God is doing through these staff and the thousands of volunteers around the world! 

In the end of July, we had the joy of gathering with the Power to Change staff from all 10 ministries plus support staff from across Canada. 
Such a blessing it is to celebrate what God is doing through these staff and the thousands of volunteers around the world! 

Halfway Through CREATE and Transitions Coming Up

The beginning of July marked the half way point of our CREATE mission trip here in Guelph. Some of the highlights from the first half of the trip have been:

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  • Starting each day together with morning prayer.
  • Going camping together (pictured beside).
  • Doing a one day spiritual retreat together. 
  • Watching the students grow in their skills as they work with our creative communications teams. 

The evangelism component of our mission trip has been testing different ad campaigns on facebook and instagram using articles that speak to the felt needs of students (This is a campaign we did on anxiety). At the end of each article students are given the opportunity to connect with an online mentor. I've been chatting with a girl, Vikie, who responded to an article we advertised on loneliness. I'm still trying to discern where she's at spiritually and how to help her in her journey to Jesus.

In August we plan to repeat some of our most successful strategies. We're praying that right before the beginning of a new school year would be a strategic time to connect with students online. Also, we hope that some of these students would eventually get connected face to face with our campus ministries. 

During our "work time" on the mission trip I've continued to create small group workbooks with my team. Last week we got to do a tour at our printing company (Ampersand) in Guelph. We got to see our workbooks in production! Below are some pictures from our tour.

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Transition Ahead:

I've always said that one of my favourite things about my job is getting to lead mission trips. Back in April I was asked if I would consider joining our Global Missions team as the new global missions manager. Mid May I accepted this position and I'll start on September 5th. In this new role I will be helping to lead the global missions team which overseas all of our summer mission trips and international partnerships.

This is a new role for the global missions team and it's a different focus from the small group resource development I'm doing now. I'm looking forward to this new leadership challenge but I'm also sad to leave my current team especially as we just hit the half way point of all the workbooks we set out to create. Pray for me as I wrap up one role and prepare for something new. There's lots to do!


Trevor & Hannah Praise & Prayer August 2018

PRAISE:  For an enjoyable and helpful national staff conference near the end of July. It was great to connect with many colleagues, friends and learning about "remembering forward", the theme of the conference.  For a good couple weeks of intensive training this summer on Partnering with the Spirit and Contextualizing the Gospel. PRAY:  For Hannah as she takes a lead with our ministry at Conestoga College, our team will now be serving this campus!  For a season of change that our student ministry is in. It is needed to help in reach this generation of students with the gospel, but it comes with loss, pain and challenges.

Russ & Meredith Praise & Prayer August 2018

PRAISE:  2 unplugged weeks of vacation with friends and family.  Increased clarity on our next steps and transition to Asia (more details soon).  Progress in skin and gut issues with Heath and Gwenyth. PRAY: Continued healing of skin issues for Heath and Gwenyth.  That we would effectively engage millions of students stepping onto campus for the first time this year.  Effective transition back into school rhythm for our family (starts Aug 13).

Gord & Heather Praise & Prayer August 2018

PRAISE:  Heather is  getting to know a lot of people in our neighbourhood and is having meaningful conversations with them. She’d love to see a “Gospel Breakthrough”!  PRAY:  The 5 person VMC teaching team is headed to Nairobi next week. Pray for safety and powerful spiritual impact.  I am in the process of facilitating 4 international video conference calls with about 16-18 national leaders. Getting everyone on board is tedious. Pray we’ll be able to pull it off and that these converations among national leaders of church networks would stimulate all to love and good works.