Footsteps of Faith

Footsteps of Faith

Spring 2024
Peter Andrews

Ministry Lead

When we think about the journey of faith it can sometimes seem that there is a mountain to scale. In a society where 95% of children and young people have no significant connection with a Church and, as our Youth Culture and Trends report indicated, fewer young people identify as Christian than a decade ago, advancing Christ’s Kingdom in the present climate can seem overwhelming. But in the same report we read that young people are still open to the idea of God and prayer. Our mission is to turn that ‘idea’ into a reality. It would be nice to think this would be as easy as, to continue the mountain analogy, jumping on a cable car and reaching the top but the truth is that it’s probably going to not be that easy.

So what do we have, or should we have, in our toolbox to help us effectively accompany young people on their journey of faith? You’ve hopefully come across the four ‘E’s’ of the BB Faith Journey – Engage, Explore, Encounter and Expand (see pages 6 – 10). 

Here’s four ‘P’s’

Essentially power tools for when we think about what this journey actually looks like in our Companies.

Power of Programme

If you haven’t got a programme then you probably haven’t got young people, well not for long anyway. It’s the variety and quality of our programme that sets the BB apart and we don’t want to lose that as it’s the very thing that allows us to engage with young people in the first place. Having said that we don’t want faith to be lost amidst the busyness of our programme. 

Q. How overtly is faith represented in your weekly meetings?

Q. To what extent is your programme giving opportunities for young people to explore the Christian faith?

The answers to these questions will be unique to your circumstances but simply asking them may give you an opportunity to reflect on where the faith sits within your programme. It can also help consider what small steps or adjustments you might like to consider to help the faith journey of your young people.

To support this aspect of the faith journey we’ll be continuing to develop resources that help embed faith in the programme as well as providing webinars and other opportunities for leaders to develop their confidence in journeying with young people and sharing their faith.

Power of Partnership

Partnership with the local Church lies at the heart of the BB’s ministry. If two people wanted to scale the same mountain they could take different routes and plan their journey to start from different places. Their objective would be the same but this wouldn’t be a partnership. Partnership would be standing shoulder to shoulder in the same place, looking at the mountain and planning your route together. When thinking about the faith journey of our young people the Company/Church relationship is key. 

With this in mind, you might want to reflect on the following questions:

Q. How healthy is the relationship between your Company and the Church?

Q. When did the Company leaders and Church leadership last sit down to review and plan your approach to the faith development of young people?

Q. What could be done to strengthen the relationship between the Company and the Church?

Again, the answers to these questions will be unique to your circumstances. For some it just might help clarify your relationship and allow you to revisit the reasons that the Company was originally started. For some it may raise challenging issues. Don’t be discouraged if it does, there will be steps, however small, that you can take to strengthen the partnership.

To support this aspect of the faith journey we will be developing resources to help Companies and Churches strengthen the partnership.

Power of People

Programme is important in supporting the faith journey of young people but so are relationships. When climbing a mountain, it probably isn’t a massive encouragement if the leader always gets to the top first and then shouts down ‘commands’ to the other climbers. It’s probably better if the leader walks alongside or even behind the climbers giving encouragement and advice. The same can be true with the faith journey of young people. There is a time and a place for ‘pulpit’ moments when we teach from the front but, as the old saying goes, faith can often be ‘caught’ more than ‘taught’ so walking alongside young people and exploring faith together can often be very effective.

Q. How confident do leaders in the Company feel about sharing about faith?

Q. What opportunities are there for young people to talk about faith in relation to topics that matter to them?

Whatever your answers to these questions, the key to this aspect of faith development in this area is likely to centre around intentionality – the conscious decision to make faith questions part of our conversations.

Power of Prayer

Ultimately, although we have an important role to play in the faith journey of our young people we are only partnering with God in his plans for the children and young people we engage with. This should be a massive relief but, at the same time, an encouragement to involve him in our plans. One of the main ways we can do this is through prayer. 

You might want to reflect on the following questions:

Q. How can you invite God into the life of your Company through prayer?

Q. How do you celebrate answered prayer?

So, do take some time to consider the faith journey and how you can support the children and young people in your Company.

Prayer requests

Members of the HQ team pray regularly for our Companies and partner Churches. If you have a prayer request you can send them to us at