Amplify - a massive faith boost, says 17-year-old Josh
Josh Taylor, a 17-year-old from Harrogate, didn’t really think of himself as an evangelist until recently – in fact, he thought that evangelists were ‘a little bit weird’.
‘Then I went on Amplify, then I was like, “Aw no, now I am one, aren’t I?”’ laughed Josh. Amplify is a youth evangelism academy and Josh joined HOPE Together’s Talking HOPE chat show to talk about his experience as part of it – and to recommend it to other young people.
It was a friend who first suggested Josh might be a great candidate for Amplify, then his youth worker put him forward for it. The programme exists to mentor a select group of budding young evangelists, aged between 11-17, investing in them to help them develop a greater understanding of the gospel, as well as confidence in sharing their faith.
Since getting involved in Amplify, Josh has been talking to his friends about faith, helping run his church’s family services and preaching. Amplify finished just before lockdown hit, and when it did, Josh and some of the other participants got together to set up something called ‘Livin’ it Out’ on Instagram, sharing images and fortnightly videos about their faith for anyone who was interested.
Josh described how he sent one of these videos to a friend after sensing a nudge from God and she said, ‘I needed that!’, while one of his other friends has been following the videos as part of her journey of exploring faith for herself.
‘[She] didn’t care about Christianity at all, thought it was a load of rubbish, and then I just started presenting what I saw as the facts and then slowly she got more interested over a period of time and now she’s got three Bibles, so I’d say that that was… going well… she’s read more of it than me now!’ said Josh.
He also recounted a story of sharing faith with friends who were drinking in a local park. He talked about how good it was ‘to be able to share and see what their worries were…There’s a massive rise… in young people drinking just to forget…what they’re feeling’. Josh went on to talk about how significant it felt to be able to share his beliefs with them in light of this.
‘I’d definitely recommend [Amplify]!’ says Josh. ‘It… started making me question… false assumptions that people had put in my mind about sharing my faith… I found it was a massive faith boost, as well as learning about evangelism.’
The next Amplify programme begins in January 2021. If you know of a young person who is actively living out what it looks like to share their faith and who would benefit from being empowered and equipped to reach a generation for Jesus, we’d love them to join in!
Sign up your young person here