Our lovely CEO – Claire – shares with us her vision of what future of SYC will look like. And let me give you a hint…. it sounds AMAZING 🙂
“When preparing for this year’s Annual Conference I was thinking of the people of Israel and their transition from the wilderness into the promised land. It was a transition from a reality in which the Lord provided directly for their daily sustenance to one in which they learned to work the land, partnering with the Lord who provided indirectly through favourable weather and protection.
Now as I come to Conference I am mindful of Jesus transition through the baptism and the affirmation of the Father, from an ordinary life to a life of ministry that started in the wilderness.
For both scenarios I have found the writings of Kosuke Koyama really helpful as I reflect on where we find ourselves as SYC, as individuals and as a society. I have included the passages from his book Three Mile and Hour God that I found most pertinent at the end of this ‘report’. His reflection is that the wilderness is a place full of danger and full of promise. And I surmise that the wilderness and the promised land come together in the life of Jesus; both are full of danger and full of promise; and we thrive in both by a complete trust in a Father who calls us beloved.
So as we name where we are, wherever we find ourselves, whether we call it wilderness or promised land; whether as individuals, families, team or friends; the secret to thriving is our relationship with God and a trust that means we follow him and abide in his love for us.
And for SYC?
We are currently made up of 2 full time vocational staffers, 3 missional staffers, 12 additional movement members and many friends and volunteers including our bookkeeper and two IT support guys.
Our capacity changes frequently in shape and size with changes to physical and mental health as well as the impact of covid restrictions.
Finances have improved through restricted grants making it possible to power ahead with the radio and we’re half way towards having and staffing a youth café bus!
We are rich in terms of relationships with our local school, both staff and students, relationships amongst our staffers, volunteers and with our networks, and our local rhythms of prayer and connection (despite not being able to be in the same room).
As we look ahead to the next 12-18 months?
We need to make being rich in our relationship with God and each other our highest priority, knowing that richness towards God overflows in love for others which is also expressed in our mission.
Specifically we will make the most of our new missional tactic; RadioSYC. The potential and promise in this is immense, increasing our reach and capacity both in terms of those who benefit from our ministry (young through to old) and those who can participate in the mission (simply because it is not geographically bound). It can be a great tool for connecting our teams and movement members across the country as well both through listening and participating.
Along similar lines we have switched much of our activities to zoom and thus can continue with programs like Foundations, The Families Course, Fundays as well as gatherings like community dinners, morning prayers and training events.
With our connections and presence in the Schools we will continue to find ways of providing support to staff and students as things change back and forth with covid, as well as missional opportunities particularly through the radio.
Our second new venture of the season is the development of SYC Coaching for senior leaders and executives. This is another tactic for influencing and supporting influencers and leaders of communities; specifically Schools, Youth/Community Organisations and Church Leaders. The aim is to increase our impact for good and reach beyond our local areas in a meaningful and sustainable way. Currently this is in its ‘beta’ phase with Claire undergoing training and starting with 2 or 3 pro-bono ‘clients’ as part of that.
Our third new (potential) venture of the season is a Youth Café Bus. We have received £10,000 which is just under half what is needed to purchase (2nd hand), re-purpose and staff a youth café bus as a focus for detached youth work in the Whitley Community. So, pending further funding that could start within the next 12-18 months.
The final area that we are paying deliberate attention to, both as staffers and trustees, is the plan to remunerate all our staffers, starting with the vocational staffers and moving to others. The main issue here is that of finding unrestricted funding or funding ear marked for staff; but we are making a start even this month. With this in mind we are looking forward to our Benefit Dinner on the 9th of October this year – do book in and bring a guest if you haven’t done so yet!
As we look forward in the wilderness-promised land, there are the dangers or threats of financial insecurity, team capacity (both in terms of number and wellbeing), and confidence in our own strength and resources; but at the same time the promise of a God who loves each of us and the communities we serve, eternally and completely, His provision, His protection and His direction. So with that in mind, let us keep trusting and loving and abiding; and everything else should fall into place if we are alert and watchful!”
How amazing this sounds, doesn’t it?
We hope you have enjoyed this vision and will stay with us for months and years ahead to see it being fulfilled 🙂