Facilitating Hungarian youth leaders’ partnership with UK Christians, and sharing good practice in Christian youth work in the UK and back in Hungary

Over the years believers from both Hungary and the UK have benefited from working together. Much has been learned, experienced and seen of God through relationships built and camps & training carried out alongside one another. For Christians from the UK to experience worshipping and serving God in another culture has provided invaluable space for personal growth. It expands their view of the world and affects how they live and serve back in the UK.

The CONNECT aspect of ACORN exists to facilitate opportunities for Hungarians to contribute to, see and learn from UK youth leaders in a variety of settings including churches and their youth events, camps and training events for youth leaders.

It is specifically for those from Hungary involved in youth ministry, or those exploring longer-term options in youth work within their church. ACORNCAMPS is convinced that Christians from different countries and backgrounds have so much to learn from each other.

Particularly the aim is to give Hungarians the opportunity to widen their experience in:
quality bible teaching which is expository, faithful, clear and relevant
evangelistic youth events in action
how teams work together, preparations are done, and follow up is carried out
how youth ministry and events work within the context of churches

Simple as A-B-C
ACORNCAMPS hears of suitable mature youth leaders who are interested in widening their experience of Bible-centred youth work
Bible-teaching churches / events / conferences in the UK have opportunities available for brothers and sisters from Hungary
‘Connections’ happen…people learn from each other…God’s work grows and Christ is made known…

Connect UK Options
There are a whole range of options available and a number are listed below.
A Hungarian youth leader could
visit a UK church for a weekend, or longer to see youth work in the life of the church
attend youth conferences or training days in the UK (e.g. Sorted, GYD events)
volunteer for a year at a camp centre (e.g.. The Oakes, Yorkshire Camps)
attend and help at a convention week (e.g. Word Alive, Keswick)
spend a gap-year with a church as a ministry trainee
help on team on a camp in the UK (e.g. Ventures, Contagious)
… who knows …

Background to Connect
ACORNCAMPS exists to train up youth leaders in Bible-centred youth work. We partner with Hungarian churches to run youth camps, train and equip youth leaders in Bible-handling skills, and produce resources to help church youth groups. Our passion is that the Bible be well taught and applied in youth groups and camps, so that the God to whom it points be glorified amongst Hungarian young people.

We aim to promote ‘expository preaching’in Hungary. Previously, the weekly workshops, summer camps and annual training events have provided excellent teaching opportunities for many, and the team at ACORNCAMPS are aware that it is when one is sitting under God’s word so taught that one gains a better grasp of the approach. We are persuaded that first-hand experience in different contexts, e.g. in the UK, can help this process of understanding, and shape future practice on return to Hungary.

Over the last 18 years ACORNCAMPS has informally facilitated groups and individuals of over 40 people coming from Hungary to visit UK events. These have included joining with Christ Church Fulwood youth Houseparty, a group visiting the Keswick Convention, youth leaders visiting St Nicholas Church Sevenoaks, taking part in a Ventures camp, and a number of Hungarians have taken part in The Oakes Gap Year scheme. Annually a group of youth leaders come over to the Growing Young Disciples conference, and we frequently hear positive feedback on how they are inspired to bring transferrable aspects of what they have experienced into their own youth work practice.

Some of these opportunities will also be offered to participants as part of the new ACORN CORE training course starting in Sept 2019.

Camps and training events for youth leaders have drawn volunteers from the UK eastwards for nearly 20 years. We now want to extend the opportunity for Hungarians to visit the UK. We believe that through connecting these ministries there can be significant long-term effects on mission and youth work within Hungary.

Who’s it for?
People interested in exploring opportunities to widen their experience in Bible-centred youth ministry will:
have a living faith in Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture, as their Lord and Saviour
show a maturity of character that enables them to enter another culture sensitively, learn from it and serve within it as part of a team
already be involved in youth work and wanting to grow in their service, or interested in youth work in the future
be over 18 years old and a committed member and involved in the life of the church
have a high-intermediate - advanced level of English language

Further details
ACORNCAMPS aims to support:
1. linking Hungarians with a UK opportunity
2. Hungarians travelling to the UK with practical details at their request
3. UK links in answering queries at their initiation

The question of finances
Opportunities in the UK will most likely come at financial cost. We recognise that the financial situation for the majority of Hungarian youth workers/volunteers is tight.
Those interested can talk with their UK link regarding whether any price reductions are available to enable their visit to the UK. ACORNCAMPS would never want finance to be the sole reason someone does not take this opportunity, and would be happy to talk more about this in person.

Next Steps:
1. Enquire about opportunities in the UK to experience Bible-centred youth work
2. Let us know of any opportunities available in your UK-based youth ministry context!
What people said before…

Visiting the Good Book Company Youth leaders conference a number of times confirmed the importance of discipling our own young people. I saw how it is a good way to help them, in their Christian and their personal lives as well. We’ve started small groups, including one looking at Romans and one with 2 girls who aren’t Christians. Two girls will soon be starting their own groups and another boys group is starting in the Autumn. Through visiting the conference, God gave me confidence to start the groups and to see that it is part of my role as youth leader. It’s hard work sometimes, but I love my groups, and the young ladies I’ve got to know through them.
Dotti Csáki, Youth leader

Working for St James’ Muswell Hill as ministry intern for a year has been a fantastic opportunity for seeing whether I would like to work for full-time in a similar context for the next few years and decades. Working with mature, godly people with years of experience has shaped the way I do things both in the role and in my personal life outside of work. It's increased my genuine love and care for the individual young persons instead of thinking about them as projects. Spending time with different age groups has also showed me where I can use my gifts best.
Szilárd Tam, Graduate

It was a wonderful experience! I visited St Nicholas church in Sevenoaks for a weekend. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the youth workers were open to answer my questions about what they did with the youth in the church. The visit was a practical insight into a foreign congregation’s life and how the youth fit into that.Each country has a different method of spreading God's words and it helped me how to change my own teaching techniques as R.E. teacher back in Hungary. I saw different ways of teaching God’s word, and I was so pleased to see the older (but still young) adults as they were helping the youth worker in their Bible study or in singing. I saw our situation in Hungary more clearly, and that, especially in smaller towns, more help is needed for the pastors to reach young people. The visit also showed me how I can start to train some youth to become a helper later. It gave ideas for how to use activities to teach something about God and His Beloved Son, Jesus.
There’s so much more…I loved it so much, and highly recommend it to everybody who's interested in youth work and the future of Christianity!! I’d love to take part in another one if possible! :)
Klára Banfi, Youth group leader & Secondary School Teacher

Visiting the Growing Young Disciples conference was so good - especially to hear enthusiastic preaching, where the Word was at the centre. It re-charged me. It was inspiring to see older people giving talks, and from this I’ve seen a model of youth work that isn’t bound by age…
Áron Ablonczy, Pastor & Trainer of Youth Leaders