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Viewpoint from Matt Gooch for 12th August 2011


Matt Gooch, Director, Unite Youth Project

Member of Light of Life Baptist Church, Ormesby


It is such a very funny time of year, August, when you do the type of work I do. I lead a charity that works with young people, encouraging them to consider faith and if God might have anything to say to them. In August however it is a strange mix of everMattGoochWebything regular closing down for a break and other things kicking in- like camps and holiday clubs. As you read this we will have just finished camping at the Norfolk Showground along with 8000 other young people, having enjoyed very noisy times of worship and learning a lot about God.
I am often asked why it is I like working with young people; for a lot of people I think they find this concept a bit tricky to comprehend. The answer is quite simply that I love the fact young people think they can change the world; in fact not think they can but know they can. I remember once being told by someone that they believed God would use me to do incredible things. Well whether that has come about as yet I am not sure but it was enough encouragement for me to go for it.
When Jesus walked the earth he was obviously a controversial character and a character that had a mesDove rightsage and a vision that it is fair to say would be one to change the world, and of course that is what it has done. Jesus wasn't on his own he brought people around him, the bible calls them disciples, or his followers, many of us know that there were 12 of them, tax collectors and fishermen. Although there is some debate about the true age of the disciples most people would agree they were young people. So this sums up the answer for me as to why I work with young people, Jesus recognised them as the key to changing the world and I want to continue to see this change happen.
It is happening all around us. I see young people making such a difference locally and in fact many young people volunteer with our organisation with the aim of reaching their friends. It isn't just locally however; young people have gone and are going off across the nation and in fact internationally. In the last few months young people connected with Unite have been to Africa and one is off to India for a year. These are just ordinary young people wanting to make a difference in the world with the belief that they can. As we get older it appears that we lose this belief and gain caution; these big moves, ideas, visions suddenly feel more unachievable as practicalities and questions start to feature in our thoughts. I was recently giving a talk at the church I attend and I was talking about a passage in Ephesians that is all about God doing more than we imagine. I was left asking the question “yes but how?” The answer is easy really and that is simply to put all our trust in God and just go for it in the way that I see so many young people doing all the time.