Want to reach young people in your community? Let us help. Become a Catalyst partner church and we’ll bring our experience, resources and passion to you. Use the links below to find out more.
Some observations of young people and the church.
The basic idea.
What YFC can bring to your church.
Some models for reaching young people.
Some facts and figures.
A framework for what happens and when.
Why Is Catalyst Needed?
Young people are open.Research tells us that 72% of the people in our churches today made a commitment to Christ before the age of 20.  Childhood and adolescence are the years of discovery. This makes young people the critical mission field in 21st century Britain.
The church isn’t reaching young people. 95% of young people in Cambridge and District have no contact with the church. Many churches would like to reach young people, but feel that they lack the ability to connect with those immersed in a different culture.
Something has to change. We believe it can.
We don’t need sophisticated methods. We need people who care enough to make a difference. Cambridge & District YFC supports local churches who want to reach out to young people with the good news of Jesus. Through their ‘catalyst’ partnerships, they work with church leaders and volunteer youth leaders to launch and develop projects with the specific aim of enabling teenagers to explore the Christian message. In a variety of different contexts, these projects give leaders the tools, context and confidence they need in order to share their lives and message with young people. They give young people the opportunity to understand the good news of Jesus, experience the community of his people and respond to the challenge of living a holy life.
 Source: ‘Confidently Sharing The Gospel’ – Evangelical Alliance, Winter 2012
 Source: Cambridge & District YFC Research. 20,000 young people in secondary education within a 10 mile radius of Cambridge. Fewer than 1000 11-18 years olds engaged in church ministry within the same area.
What is a Catalyst Partnership?
YFC are looking to partner with churches with a heart for young people and a commitment to resource a project to reach young people with the good news of Jesus.We’ll work with you over a period of 1-2 years to develop your youth ministry with the goal of reaching out more effectively.We believe that Catalyst could help to see significant growth of Christian youthwork in Cambridge and District, and we’re inviting you to be a part of it.
How Does a Catalyst Partnership Work?
Your unique context
YFC will meet with a team of church representatives to explore and understand the community, the local church context. This will ensure that YFC is able to direct its support and advice to shape an effective project that will reach young people in your unique context.
A project coordinator
After a full consultation with the church leaders and leadership teams, a suitable project plan will be developed and a project coordinator will be identified from within the congregation. YFC will work closely with the coordinator to assist in every aspect of launching and managing the project. The church will enter into a period (12-18 months) of partnership with YFC, committing to support the project with volunteers, prayer and finance. The church is asked to contribute to the cost of YFC’s input to the Catalyst project (Subject to the ability of the church to do so).
A team of volunteers
At the heart of every project will be a group of volunteers whose role is to build lasting relationships with the young people. YFC will provide training and support for these volunteers, enabling them to understand and thrive in their role. The volunteers will commit to praying for, listening to and championing the cause of these young people.
For the whole church, for the long term
In our experience, lasting impact in the lives of young people and their families comes as a consequence of long term engagement with a local church community. With this in mind, YFC ask volunteers and church leaders to commit to the project for at least a full year, with a plan to extend this to three years.We are convinced that this is not a project for a few, specialist individuals, but for the whole church. For this reason YFC work to secure the backing of the church leadership and of the wider church family for the project.
Once the project is launched, YFC will continue to provide support and advice, meeting regularly with the coordinator.
Project coordinators will join a growing network of like-minded people from local churches, gaining support from others involved in similar work.
What Sort of Projects Are Possible?
Start with a Few
Already have some young people in your church? Want to help them reach their friends? Many of us set out to do this, but find our group gets stuck being cosy and exclusive, or lacking motivation. We can walk you through a process through which you can help your young people to make use of their own contacts and interests to lead others to Christ.
Reach a School
Would you love to make an impact in a secondary school? Most schools won’t invite you to preach in an assembly. But there are ways that you can work with the school to see Jesus transforming lives. YFC have many years of experience of lessons, lunchtime clubs, mentoring schemes and more to get you started.
Ignite your Youth Club
Already run a youth club, but not sure how to put Jesus on the agenda? Worried that young people will reject the group if it becomes ‘too Christian’? Our team would love to help you transition to a new approach which values the relationships and community you already have, but offers appropriate ways of helping young people explore faith. In a few years you really could see them winning others for Christ!
Launch a Community Project
What if you don’t have any relationships with young people, or even a building? YFC can provide support and advice to enable you to create something from nothing. Wherever young people are, in parks or street corners, we’ll get you talking to young people, and help you create a community group around a common interest. In the context of this ‘family unit’ we’ll guide you through the process of sharing both your life and faith with young people over a long period of time.A catalyst partnership will make use of the models above, adapting and developing them to work effectively within the local context.
How Much Does Catalyst Cost?
YFC is funded by churches and individuals enabling us to support the local church in reaching out to young people with the good news of Jesus. For Catalyst, we ask a church to contribute to half the cost of running a project.
Phase 1: Preparation. Contribution: Nothing Time Period: 3-12 months
Cambridge & District YFC would value the opportunity to discuss potential mission projects with you. This is about exploring the possibilities and determining whether Catalyst is the right fit for your church community.
Phase 2: Partnership. Contribution: £100 a month Time Period: 12-18 months
The contribution for a partner church is £1200 a year, £100 each month.
The full cost of running a Catalyst Project is £2400 a year. YFC will directly fund half of the partnership costs through the regular giving of their supporters.
The cost covers:
- The complete consultation process with the church
- Bespoke training for volunteers
- Full use of YFC’s online resources
- Full management support for the project coordinator
- Membership of LimitlessCommunity for the duration of the partnership
Stages of a Catalyst Partnership
Phase 1: Preparation (3-12 months)
- Initial discussion with church leader and youth leader representatives.
- Meeting with nominated persons to create a project outline, and presenting that outline to the church.
Phase 2: Partnership (12-18 months)
- Partnership agreement signed by church leader and YFC.
- Developing a details project plan, recruiting and training a team of volunteers and getting support from the church in prayer and practice.
- Starting your project with hands-on supervision from one of our team, and monthly reviews.
- After the first 6-8 weeks YFC visit the group on a monthly basis, and review the work once a term. The team have access to our online resources, and join LimitlessCommunity.
- At the end of the partnership phase, we conduct a review, and invite you to continue in network relationship.
Phase 3: Network (24 months)
- Once your church has been through the partnership process, we invite you to complete the LimitlessCommunity programme, and add you to our network. We continue to provide support and advice by phone and email.
Taking It Further
If you are interested in exploring a Catalyst partnership and would like to talk it through with someone at YFC, we would love to hear from you.The Mission Development Manager
Cambridge & District YFC
c/o Barnwell Baptist Church
t: 01223 727452