James – Scripture Union (Team Leader)
The younger group, P1-P4 is thinking about Egypt and the story of Daniel. The older kids in P5-P7 have a Space Quest theme that looks at how God creates, provides, comforts and helps.
Our mornings here are pretty full with dancing, games, crafts and singing but then we split into small groups to learn more about the day’s story and to learn the memory verse.
About 90% of the kids signed–up online beforehand so they are really excited to be here and they don’t seem to want to leave at the end of the day. It is great to see a lot of the kids returning from previous years. It gives us, as leaders such encouragement that they have enjoyed the week and are happy to be back again.
This year we are focused on nurturing faith. These children know the standard Bible stories so we want to add application to their knowledge but we do that by meeting them where they are now. Judging by some of the questions we’ve been asked this week, they are really getting it. One child wanted to know, “Why did God create Adam and Eve if He knew they were going to sin?” To me that is mind-blowing. It amazes us what they come up with and many of them would put the adults to shame with their Bible knowledge.
If you are interested in helping out on the leadership team at next years New Horizon you can apply online through the Scripture Union website at suni.co.uk
Richard – Live Wire (Planning Team leader)
What we are trying to achieve this year is going back to basics by getting more knowledge of God Himself through the Gospel. There are about 250 young people who are the core of this group and then many more who come in when they can meaning we try to serve just over 500 this week. We’ve found that a lot of the breakthrough in this age group comes in the small groups and in a sense, there has been no huge standout moment because we’re looking at the fundamentals, the basics and seeing transformation on a deeper level.
The thread that we have noticed appearing is that while there is a lot they understand now, the Good News is so much more. We’re stitching together bits of knowledge and understanding they’ve gained from other areas of their lives and putting them altogether so its clear in their heads. The focus of freed, filled, adopted, assured and empowered helps us to deliver this in order to grip their hearts. We’re trying to get past the jargon and get to the truth that’s under the phrases that are so readily thrown about.
A big part of our attention throughout the week is keeping a perspective of what this event is, what it is not, and what it should be so it curves towards how to work at home in their churches and in their everyday.
Jordan – On The Edge (Senior team leader)
It is really hard to describe what OTE is! We’re trying to create an environment here where the young people can be themselves to explore, be challenged and encouraged in their all-round spiritual development.
This year we’ve split into a morning and evening session with the theme being One Way, which essentially is reassuring them that Jesus, is the only way. He is in all aspects of their life, Jesus encompasses all. We have also introduced small groups which have been a fantastic addition because the kids get to know leaders and spend time realising we aren’t these mythical, super-Christians but real people with good days and bad days just like them.
It has been so encouraging this year that we have hit the ground running from the beginning. The kids have been right on board since Monday morning. This was important because we want to translate that faith is not a series of highlights, it’s about the everyday and not building up to a crescendo.