28th March 2024

Nurturing Young Servant Hearts

The youth at Follow Baptist Church enjoy throwing their energy into helping others.

At least once a term, Follow Youth organise a “Service Night” where the young people can help out in their local community.

Youth Ministry Director Josiah Watson is  constantly impressed by their willingness to participate in these events.

“We can talk about the fact that it’s important to help our community and serve as Jesus did, but so often it stays in the theory. We wanted to physically put our hands to work, to get on the ground and actually do things that make a difference to people. The response from our youth has been astonishing. People think young people would not be engaged in this or they wouldn’t want to work hard, but they’ve actually been doing it with so much passion and excitement. They are always finishing one job and coming up to me to ask, ‘What can we do next?’ The response has been absolutely amazing. They’re excited to do this each term.”

Follow runs a charity called the Follow Bless Collective, which provides services, programs, support and care to those who are undervalued, isolated and disadvantaged in the Cardinia Shire and surrounds. The youth often complete background tasks in support of the Bless Collective, such as unpacking delivery pallets, stacking shelves, or filling Bless Packs with food.

“We’ve been holding Service Nights for about a year now, and we’re constantly looking for different ways to serve the community. We have cooked for people in need, and written cards for people affected by the war in Ukraine to let them know we’re thinking about them and praying for them. We’ve also written cards for people in the local community at Christmas time.”

The Bless Collective manager often comes to speak to the youth about why Christians are called to serve others and the ways in which Jesus served, so they understand the biblical context behind the events.

“My experience is that young people – contrary to popular belief – love doing things that are useful and make a difference to other people. We have 25-30 kids at youth group on a given night, and they come with the attitude that they’re just going to jump in and help, all with smiles on their faces and zero grumbling! They all love doing this together.”

“Tasks that would take the small Bless Collective staff two or three hours to do during the week, we can get done as a youth group in 15 minutes.

“My encouragement to other churches is to provide opportunities for youth to practically step out. There can often seem so many reasons not to serve, but I firmly believe that the reasons to serve heavily outweigh the reasons not to. I think a lot of people would be pleasantly surprised by the response from their young people.”


A Follow Baptist Church youth leader shares her encouraging story about recently becoming a Christian.

My name is Madi, and this is a short story of how I became a Christian.

I didn’t grow up in a Christian household and didn’t know who God was. I hadn’t heard anything about God until one day, I saw a sign at my local high school advertising a breakfast club where volunteers from a local church (Follow Baptist Church) cooked and served pancakes for free. Through the people there, I began to hear small things about God, particularly during my rough times in Year 8. I found myself with the desire to know more about Jesus, so I went to their youth ministry (Follow Youth) one Friday night in 2018, and on Sunday, went to church. I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m so glad I went, because ever since that day, my life has been changed. I have given my life to Jesus, I now go to two different youth groups, I regularly attend church, I’ve been on a number of mission trips and am now a youth leader at Follow Youth. After being prompted by God on one of the mission trips, I made the decision to get baptised in April last year.

I have witnessed the ways God has changed my life, and whilst I still face challenges in the day to day, I know God is always with me and He will never leave me. 

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