21 September 2017

Christian Endeavour Ireland -For Christ and The Church

WHAT IS CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOUR?

Christian Endeavour came to Ireland in 1889 having begun in America in 1881. It was started by a working class woman called Margaret Magill, who was a member of Agnes Street Presbyterian Church, Shankill Road, Belfast. The first Methodist Society was started one year later in Knock Methodist Church, also in Belfast, by the Rev J D Lamont. This was the second CE society to be started in Ireland. Today we have approx 100 groups operating in Ireland.

Christian Endeavour is a Church based movement which caters for all age groups; Juniors, Young people, Young Adults and Seniors.

CE has got a clear mission statement: “Christian Endeavour is a nondenominational movement which seeks to teach and train its members for service in their local church through participation in regular meetings and by taking an active role in group work. Members are encouraged to take the CE Promise, which promotes commitment to Christ, the Local Church and fellow believers.”

This statement helps young people to express their love for God and to respond to the unlimited love of God in a tangible way.

THE KEYWORD OF CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOUR IS TRAINING:

Training in service; Training in expression; Training in living; Training of the heart; Training of the mind; Training of the boy, girl, young man or young woman; Training to make citizens; Training to make effective Christians; Training in the Church; Training for the Church; Training by the Church.

THE LIST IS ENDLESS!!

One of the main objects and purposes of Christian Endeavour is to make its members more useful in the service of God.

To reinforce this we have four essentials important to the formation and running of a group within the Church:

 a weekly devotional meeting

 a monthly consecration meeting

 a members promise

 group activity

Many churches will say, “Why do we need CE in our church as we already have an existing youth work?” That is quite true, you don’t need CE to create a lively and vibrant youth work in a church. But CE can be a powerful TOOL to help young people to become Christians and grow in their spiritual life and provide fresh leaders for the church.

In CE groups young people/children take responsibility. The key word in CE is INVOLVEMENT. No other organisation emphasises involvement like it. The meeting itself is a DIY effort where every member can take an active part. In that meeting the members learn how to chair a meeting, lead discussion, read and study the Scriptures, pray and speak in public. Chain prayer and presentation of a topic are two of the features unique to CE. In group activity work members learn how to cope with planning programmes, arranging events and assisting missionary work. This will all help the future church worker.

The principle of learning by doing has proved to be a winning formula for the nurturing of young Christians and the development of their spiritual gifts. One of the real strengths of Christian Endeavour is that it encourages people to try things they think they can’t do. It is a place where failure is accepted as part of the growing process, a place to learn from situations that go wrong and where encouragement is given to try again and do better next time. This doesn’t just apply to young people but to us all. Jesus is continually helping us to grow in our faith. None of us are perfect!

WHAT CAN CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOUR OFFER THE CHURCH?

We believe that the solution to the problem of youth today is to provide them with an opportunity to put their faith into practice and to challenge them with meaningful roles and responsibilities within the church. Christian Endeavour, properly run, can provide the environment within which young Christians can develop and grow.

No-one knows the extent of their own capabilities and talents until they have tried them out. In the CE Society there is opportunity to discover these talents and develop them for service within the church by participation. CE is a training movement that works!

As churches look to the future where will they find new leaders?

Do you believe there can be a role for CE in your church?

Can it meet our greatest need, which is the lack of leaders within our churches?

Robert Tinney