Here’s a quick introduction from Rich Atkinson on a new resource he and his Rebuild team have released to help young people explore the discipling language of Lifeshapes:
‘Listen to these three key instructions’ was the last thing I heard as I disengaged my brain and began to chat to one of my friends. I was 15 and, as a youth group, we were going horse riding for the first time as an activity on a weekend away. I had complained that morning about doing such a dull activity and was busy telling my friend how stupid it was that they had an ‘instructor’ for something as simple as riding a horse!
‘You just sit on the thing’, I complained to my mate as the instructor droned on.
I discovered later that the instructor had told everyone that there were three key things that you should never do when riding a horse. These were: don’t drop the reins; don’t let your feet fall out of the stirrups; and, whatever you do, don’t panic!
Eventually it was time to set off on our horses. I stopped chatting to my friend as the instructor turned his horse and set off. One by one each of the horses trotted off in pursuit of the lead horse, including mine.
Unfortunately, the bumping of the horse beneath me led me to immediately drop the reins, my feet fell out of the stirrups and I totally panicked! I clung to the hair on the mane of the poor horse and pleadingly screamed for it to stop. The screaming seemed to provoke the horse to sense that it should help get its rider out of trouble by running faster! By the time the instructor had managed to stop the horse, calm it down and give me a telling off for not listening, my knuckles were white from clinging on so tightly and my pride had taken a rather significant dent.
Many of the young people I know have experiences in their walk with God that are rather like my horse riding experience. I often have this problem as I hare off in my spiritual life without the necessary tools in place and then wonder why it didn’t always work out as well as I’d hoped.
In my experience, there is nothing more exciting than young people filled with passion for Jesus and equipped with the right tools. After all, the young disciples that Jesus picked up were full of passion. He spent three years giving them tools to live out that passion and then they changed the world. We want to be people that change the world with the fire that’s in our bellies and the right tools in our hands. Young people are some of the best bringers of change in society and when they’re fired up, living lives equipped with the right tools, they ALWAYS see amazing things happen!
This book is for young people who want the chance to engage with some simple tools that will enable them to run fast without falling off!
You can take a look and purchase this book through our online shop by clicking here
If you would like to find out more about Rebuild or what Rich and the team are up to over the coming months, click here and get in touch
Rich Atkinson is married to Lizzie and they’ve just and they have just had their first child Beatrice.
Rich founded the Forge network in Sheffield which grew as a youth ministry from around 60 young people to well over 800 today through pioneering youth Missional Communities. Rich is now on the senior leadership team at Network Church Sheffield and is also the team leader of REBUILD working for 3dm Europe.