Monday, 21 October 2013


I founded TRIBE in it's current form in March 1999. We had as small number of 'Church kids'  which included my own.   knew that for this group to survive we simply had to 'create' new teenagers ourselves as we would have very few coming from the Church we were part of (too small).  I had led the youth in another Church in the 80s   from approx. 1980 to 1987. We had seen amazing growth and people from that group are effective members of local Churches, International Bible teachers, One who served in an Apostolic capacity for many years and a whole range of ministry gifts.  Most of these came from Non Christian/Non Church backgrounds. 

These 'principles' developed to be able to give strength as well as growth and the importance on focussing on what we were called to do. They ended up producing young people who were seamlessly integrated into Church. I am utterly convinced that what we achieved is 'replicatable'  in most Churches.  We were absolutely opposed to the 'fad' at the time of 'youth Church' which is a Church congregation just for youth and were absolutely committed to seeing youth move from the Street to the heart of the Church.

I have observed many groups over the years make the mistake of thinking that 'numbers' is what its about. A club with 100 kids each week for instance.  A better measure of success is to ask how many non Church outh are there on a Sunday, how many have been baptised or made a clear profession of faith.

Here they are.

Disciples not Decisions. 

Our aim is to produce long term Disciples of Jesus.  We do not promote the “quick decision” or “pray the prayer” mentality.  We know that once a 12 year old knows that’s what they have to do they will do it no matter how real it is.  For us repentance, faith as well as Baptism receiving the Holy Spirit and walking the walk are all part of what we seek to bring these young people into.  The only thing that will change these young people’s lives is to follow Jesus, other programs will fail but this will not. 


Even though decisions will have to be made “to join TRIBE”, to make some public profession of faith etc., we promote the Journey mentality.  We will generally seek to delay Baptism until the youngsters are old enough to know and understand the consequences of their actions.  We believe this is probably around 16.  Until then and past then it is a journey. 

Create a Path.

Our task is to create a path from the “street” to the heart of the Church.  The route this path follows and the strategies used can change from year to year, month to month, week to week, but our purpose is to bring young people from being completely unconnected into Church and to move right into the heart of Church and behave equally with everyone else. 

Raise Christian families.

Our target, our long term aim is to create new Christian families that would not exist if we had not done our work.  That is long term youth work!  This means that we seek to take young people from whatever age they join us, (it can be as low as 10) through into adu hood and serious long term relationships on into marriage.  Once new families are formed we know that we will be making a significant difference into future generations. 

We will pay the price.

If youngsters do not want to come or they leave because they can’t stand the “God stuff”, we will, pay the price.  We will not tone down the spiritual material like prayer, testimonies and the use of the Bible and Worship.  These things are central to what we do.  We know that the biggest difference that can be made in these young people’s lives is to come into an experience of the presence, reality and power of Jesus. 

We will be biased.

We will pay extra attention and give extra resource, practical help and care to those who come from an un Churched background.  Ultimately the spiritual welfare of the Christian children of our Church belongs to their parents.  For those who have become Christians amongst us or who are seeking to find faith, we are responsible.  We will be biased; this has always been our policy and always will be.  This expresses itself that if someone makes their way from wherever to a TRIBE meeting we will take them back if their parents are not willing or not able to do so. 


We are not running an open Youth Club.

Unless we are asked specifically and we agree to run an open youth club for someone else this is not our usual method of youth work.  Our Rock Solid clubs are not “open” in that sense.  Youngsters are not free to come and go as they please, it is a program, it has a definite beginning and a definite end.  We do not have the time, resources or desire to run open Youth Clubs on a regular basis.

We will build from the core.

We will not keep expanding to the detriment of our core Christians, our core Disciples.  We will always ensure that our core is secure as can be.  We will add new people to this core not swamp them or threaten them.  Inviting street gangs into TRIBE or MGEN which threatens our youngsters is not, the way that we do things. 

We will create ways to serve.

TRIBE is not a dead end and young people amongst us will have plenty of opportunities to serve.  We will not let adults or those who are not coming up through TRIBE block the path of service for those who are coming through the ranks.  Small group leadership, club assistants and leaders and every other position of responsibility can be taken on by TRIBERS coming through the ranks.  We will seek to match abilities, gifts and desire to the opportunities that are available.
We will prioritise people above projects.

It is the people that are important not the projects.  The projects and events and clubs that we run are for the youngsters who are part of TRIBE.  Not for our ego, they are not the main thing that we do, they serve the individuals.  If they cease to be effective in serving the community of TRIBE they will cease.  We should be less concerned about the running of the meeting, more concerned about the individuals who are in attendance.  The most prized activity for any youth worker amongst us is to be involved on a one to one basis with the young people.  It is the people that are important.  


We will aim to build across the generations.

By creating a path into the heart of the Church, by moving TRIBERS to come into contact with people of all ages we will seek to create community across the generations.  TRIBE is not an end of itself; it serves the Church or the Churches that we work with.  We will seek that TRIBERS become part and effective members of the Church community.  They must come to know that community across the generations is God’s “norm”.   

We do not do youth work.

We communicate the Gospel, make disciples and show the kingdom to young people.  There is a difference!  


For this generation and the next,



John K Tancock (JT) for TRIBE – be part of it! 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

A new start!!

This blog was originally going to be for youth related topics. The fact was that I didn't eer get it started but my main blog JTs BlogSpot took off lke a rocket, so this one was forgotten.

I have decided to put on here various youth worker/leader related stuff and material for young people as well.

It will include fun stuff and resources as well as comment on topics and current issues.

I'm hoping the blog will be inhabited by loads of teenagers, youthworkers and all sorts!!

My first new blog entry will be this week.