PCI (Presbyterian Church in Ireland) is active in many areas of ministry, and the youth ministry is a large and important part of this overall picture. The hope of all PCI congregations is to understand the different generations that make up our church families, and to support and nurture our children and young people by giving them opportunities to hear the Gospel, and to ensure that they understand it and learn how they can apply it in their lives. The Youth and Children’s ministry strives to reach not only young people already attending our congregations but to bring this important message to families outside the Church too.
One major annual event that is held to impact our young people and to help establish and strengthen relationships with our 11 – 18 year olds is the MAD Weekend (more info here). MAD stands for Making a Difference and is a fun filled weekend away in Coleraine, usually at the end of October. There are many activities throughout the weekend, as well as worship time and inspirational talks from a variety of leaders. PCI congregations are encouraged to send their young people and leaders to enjoy the weekend together because all the activities, food etc is already organised, leaving the groups time to build on the relational side of their fellowship. Local churches kindly open the doors to their halls for accommodation, split between boys and girls, but giving an opportunity to meet other young people from all over.
Over the years this event has become so popular that tickets sell out extremely quickly and there is often a lengthy waiting list in the hope of some last minute places, but this is an indication of how positive an event it is, when congregations want to come back time after time.
As can be expected, to run this weekend successfully and safely a lot of help is needed. Each year the organisers put together a MAD Crew of approximately 50 volunteers of 18 years and above. Many of these young people are coming back because they want to put their faith into action, and have been to the MAD event themselves and know what an impact it can have on young lives.
This October think about the young people attending MAD, and join with us when we as a congregation at Trinity pray for safety in travels, that many of the young people will respond to what they hear at the weekend, and that God will use the leaders speaking and praising at the event to touch many lives. We will pray also for those leaders and the MAD crew that they may know God’s love for them and His pleasure in how they serve Him.
If you know anyone between 11 – 18 who would like to go to this event in the future, or get involved in similar activities please get in touch.