Visualising Hope: Exploring the Spirituality of Young People


Visualising Hope  is a new book that I have written about research that I conducted among young people. I discovered a massive gap in understanding between young people and church leaders. The only way forward, as I could see it, was to spend some time listening to young people. I also thought it would be a bit awkward to just walk up to young people and start asking them about their search for meaning in life.

 So, instead, I spent some time getting to know them first and sharing a bit about myself. Then, I used all sorts of pictures and images to get conversations going. I tried this in Kiev, Ukraine, and it worked so well that I then went on to do it again in Nizhny Novgorod and St Petersburg, in Russia, Bucharest in Romania, Wroclaw in Poland and Bratislava, Slovakia.

Wherever I travelled I also spoke with church leaders from a variety of churches. I wanted to get their side of the story about young people.

The results were really interesting and I learned loads. One of the most interesting discoveries was that the values of the young people clashed directly what they percieved to be the value system of the church. This explains why they just don’t go to church – it would go against some of their deepest beliefs.

Do check out the book – it’s published by YTC press and you can read more about it on their website:


2 responses

17 02 2011
Melissa Leone

Interested if this book has helped youth leaders relate/organize lessons for students….Thank you!

21 02 2011
Sarah Dunlop

This book helps youth leaders get inside the head of their young people, so that they can give lessons that are relevant. I’m not sure whether anything specific has been been done on how to do this yet. The idea was that instead of giving a ‘how-to’ manual that would only be relevant for a small set of young people, it would be better to help youth workers think outside the box about the worldviews and spiritualities of their young people. Then they can develop teaching material that is applicable to their own young people within their context. Hope this helps!

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