Splash Youth in Rockingham – revisited.
From the start, Matt Schubert and his team were successful in attracting youth to attend Splash Youth, with their largest night reaching 113 youth kids.
But having meaningful conversations with all these youth from night to night proved very difficult, so the program has moved towards a ‘Connect Groups’ focused approach.
Connect Groups are now seen as crucial to the discipleship of the youth as leaders establish relationships within their group – the same kids every week with the same one or two leaders.
At a Splash Youth night, a leader welcomes everybody and prays, before progressing into games and then free time with food from the SnackShack. The night always finishes with teaching and discussion – relevant and Gospel-centred.
The volunteers of Splash Youth have a tremendous sense of ownership. Many were church kids who’ve come through youth group themselves and now have a heart for ministry. What happens at Splash Youth is tweaked based on weekly team reflection and a longer review with the team twice a year.
In the first half of 2019, Splash Youth averaged 25 students per night, mostly from non-Christian families. The team took time to get used to the smaller numbers, but the leaders have connected with the students in a way that was never possible before.
Matt prioritises his energies to the youth leaders, keeping tabs on the morale and climate of the team, encouraging them in their Christian leadership journey. Over the course of the year, 30 different volunteers help run Splash Youth, not just leaders but also helpers and SnackShack volunteers.
The congregation believes in Matt’s coordinating position, and through pledges, the hours have increased from 12 to 15 a week. Matt says: “Be faithful even when it looks like nothing is happening. Keep trusting God and celebrate glimpses of the kingdom breaking in.”
Check out their Facebook page: Splash Youth
In 2016, Rockingham Mandurah Lutheran Church received an LLL Mission Stimulus Grant for $25,000 through the Western Australia District. The first article about Splash Youth appeared in Together in mission 2017. It continues to be a success story and provided the basis of an inspirational presentation at the 2019 WA Synod.