A new Year Out Programme for the Black Country

A new Year Out Programme for young people aged 18-25 will be starting in September 2020 called EXPAND, run by a partnership of Dudley churches in association with the Love Dudley and Love Black Country Next Gen network.

Over the past few years, we have increasingly felt the call of God to “throw our arms around the next generation” and the heart of the Year Out Programme is to respond to this call by growing leaders from and for the next generation in our region.

We must ask ourselves critical questions if we are going to see God’s purposes come to pass in our region over the coming years.

Where are the next generation of Christian leaders coming from?

How are we going to form Christian leaders of substance and courage to take their place in the Kingdom of God over the coming decades?

A number of churches in Dudley see part of the answer being the development of a Year Out program that can serve the region.

Key Information

The core of the Year Out Programme is part time, with three elements for those taking part:

  • Grow – a day of teaching and input from Christian leaders across the Black Country, focussed on the holistic development and formation of the young people into Christian leaders.
  • Give – a day of service in their local church, suited to each young person’s gifts and development, including growing in leadership responsibility.
  • Go – a day of mission, partnering with projects, churches and charities across the Black Country to bring the love of Jesus to our community. They will also go on an international missions trip to serve Jesus overseas.

Expand aims to resource as many churches and young people in the region as possible and is not just limited to those based in Dudley. 

The core program is part-time, so that this can be combined with employment or education; however, if a young person would like to do this full time we can also arrange that.

The young person remains at their local church and serves there for a day a week. This means we resource local churches rather than draining them of their young people. If there is a good reason why this would not be best for the church or the young person, we can place them in a different church. Although the project is being run collaboratively by churches in the Dudley borough, it is open to young people and churches from all four boroughs of the Black Country.

We ask that each young person raise £1500 towards the cost of the Year Out, but churches are not expected to contribute unless they want to!

Which young people will you invite?

If you have any young people in your church who might be interested in Expand, please direct them to the web page where they can find out a lot more information and how to get in touch. We’re particularly aware that in the current circumstances a lot of those who would have gone to university may be wanting to defer a year and this may be a good option for those who do.

If you want to talk to us about anything at all, please get in touch with timmurray@amblecotechristiancentre.org.uk.

You can also watch the video interview with Franky, Tim and Linsey below to explore the vision behind Expand some more and hopefully find out the answers to some of your questions.

We’re very excited about being able to offer this new Year Out opportunity to Black Country young people and their local churches and we really hope you’ll be able to encourage suitable young people in your church or sphere of influence to consider taking part.


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