Sunday schools and other Christian youth ministries are having to close because team members do not pray enough and have not understood the needs of their young people, a new report claims. Scripture Union, which conducted a study of more than 1,500 ministries, said people would be “amazed” by how many leaders and volunteers set aside “no or minimal” time aside for prayer, and their ministries subsequently do not endure in the long-run. National director in England and Wales, Tim Hastie-Smith said prayer was “absolutely vital” and needed to be “at the centre” of church ministries in order for them to thrive.
He said: “It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that failure to engage in prayer and to understand ones local community is likely to see the death of a Christian community in the long-term.” Scripture Union sought to establish the keys to success when it comes to starting new missional groups for children and young people. The organisation identified prayer and taking time to understand and respond to local needs as “two of the most important factors” in determining success. Tim Hastie-Smith said teams who made prayer a top priority felt bolstered through God answering prayer and knowing that colleagues cared enough about them to pray for them the research found.
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