Activity 2: Handout 2: The Benefits of Listening

The benefits of listening to children and young people

  • We begin to understand their lives and concerns
  • We are given the opportunity to hear their views, opinions and ideas.
  • It helps avoid implementing things children and young people don’t want or need.
  • It helps to shape the future of the church, its groups and worship
  • It creates a greater sense of ownership and belonging
  • It offers a fresh perspective, even if the ideas and suggestions are challenging
  • It enables the prophetic voice of the young to be heard afresh in each generation.
  • It allows children and young people to work alongside adults in finding solutions which meet different needs.
  • It helps children and young people gain confidence and valuable decision making skills
  • It demonstrates that we value children and young people as fellow members of the church.
  • It offers children and young people a way into becoming actively involved in shaping the things that affect them
  • It enables children and young people realise that their voices can lead to change

There are endless ways of listening to the voices of children and young people. However, it is vital to choose a method that is age appropriate and best suits those you are listening to. You will need to plan well, obtain relevant permissions and follow all safeguarding procedures.

Method examples:

  • Have an informal discussion
  • Conduct a formal consultation
  • Have an open meeting
  • Set up a focus group around a particular issue
  • Have youth representatives on the church council
  • Set up a youth or children’s council
  • Conduct a questionnaire or online survey
  • Use social media, tweets, blogs and texts
  • Ask relevant questions in creative ways
  • Play decision making games
  • Make a model or sculpture from scrap
  • Paint a picture, large collage or graffiti wall
  • Use music, drama or role play
  • Have circle time to share views and ideas
  • Use photography

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