[Anglican Communion News Service] Successful and emerging discipleship work with and by children and young people within the Anglican Communion will be recognized with two new awards. The new Youth and Children Ministry Award will be presented for the first time at this year’s Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, in April.
The new award is an initiative of Anglican Witness, a network supported by the mission department of the Anglican Communion Office. The Anglican Witness initiative brings together Anglicans and Episcopalians from across the Communion involved in a whole range of work to support evangelism and church growth in parishes, dioceses and provinces; and in recent years has focused its work around discipleship – equipping Christians to live their faith in everyday life as disciples of Jesus.
The new award will be presented every three years at the meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council; and will recognise initiatives of Anglican youth ministries in their effort to effectively disciple young people under their care.
The award will be presented in two categories. The first will focus on success or achievement – recognising successful work that has been done in promoting effective discipleship among young people especially with impact that can go beyond the project or programme itself. The selection panel will be looking for initiatives that have the potential to motivate, challenge and empower others.
The recipient of the award will be invited to showcase the work they have done at the ACC meeting and it will be widely publicised within the Anglican Communion for others to be inspired and learn from it.
The second category will be for emerging or promising work and will provide a cash award of up to £10,000 to fund a promising new, cutting edge, emerging initiative in youth or children discipleship with potential for local and wider impact. The actual amount of the award will vary and is dependent upon the needs of the initiative.
Applications for this award will be open to any Anglican ministry in the participating region. The Anglican Communion’s secretary general will perform an initial sift and send shortlisted applications to a selection panel.
Applications must demonstrate an understanding of the basics of the Christian faith as they are expressed in the programs; a clear demonstration of the ways of equipping young people for lifelong discipleship; a clear demonstration of the sustainability of the program; evidence of community contribution to the fulfilment of the program; and evidence of how the program has or would influence positive culture change and spiritual growth among the young people.
For the purposes of these new awards, the provinces of the Anglican Communion have been placed into three regional groups: those in Africa – including the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa from the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East; the Americas and Europe; and Asia and Australasia. For each ACC meeting, applications will be sought only from provinces in the same region as the host of the ACC meeting. So for this year’s ACC-16 meeting in Lusaka, applications are being sought only from the Diocese of Egypt and the provinces in Africa.
If successive ACC meetings are in the same region; the secretary general would either pass the Award to the next region in line or retain it in the same region but not award it to a project in the same province that received the previous Award.
The selection panel will be made up of not more than five people from the region hosting the ACC. Its broad membership will include a young person, a youth worker, a bishop and a lay person; and at least two people of each gender.
Welcoming the “small but exciting initiative,” the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said: “I am personally very excited about the potential of this strategic initiative that will promote discipleship with and among children and young people.
“They are a critical part of our Communion and I pray that this new award will help to recognize the work done by the many faithful people involved in working with children and young people within the Anglican Communion and also encourage others through sharing experience of what is working in other parts of the work.”
The Rev. Canon John Kafwanka, director for mission at the Anglican Communion Office, added: “Considering that the majority of the national and church populations in many parts of the Communion – particularly in the continent of Africa and much of the Global South – are young people, this is a very exciting and important initiative, aimed at promoting discipleship and equipping of young Anglicans to be Christ’s Ambassadors and witnesses to his love for the world in their everyday life.
“I am delighted to commend this initiative to all those who are able to take part apply.”
Details of how to apply for this year’s Anglican Communion Youth and Children Ministry Award have been sent to provincial secretaries of the eligible Anglican churches.