Mission goes at full throttle

18 July 2014

Kent Young Bikers

Crossing the road: the Revd Dan Harris on his motorcycle

Crossing the road: the Revd Dan Harris on his motorcycle

A SCHEME aimed at engaging churches with young adults through their interest in motorbikes was launched this week.

The REV Project uses the iconic imagery of motorcycling as a way of sharing the gospel to generate interest and engage young people.

The project director, Dan Harris, said: "Many churches have lost contact with the 18-to-25 age group, and churches are starting to look old. The REV Project helps churches to build long-term relationships with young adults through a community project that grabs their attention. Motorcycles are cool."

Mr Harris, a youth worker with the United Reformed Church in Canterbury, has based the project on the work of his charity, Full Throttle UK, which has offered Christian support to young bikers in the town for the past 12 years. It currently has 50 regulars.

He said on Monday: "We created a community with good relationships with the young to share the gospel. Now we want to launch it with other churches. Initially, we are looking at the south-east, but one day we want to take it nationwide.

"Most young riders don't have their own space to meet; they have to use more adult spaces, such as pubs or bike cafés. Our attraction for them is that we offer a dedicated space for them. We promote it through social media, and a lot come through word of mouth from friends.

"Its not like an Alpha course, where you come because you want to know about the gospel; we focus on the motorcycles, but we have what we call the God Spot, where we do 45-minute presentations which can take a motorcycling theme, so that even if people are not interested in the gospel, they can understand the point we are making, and those who are interested can take it to a deeper level.

"We have had about 15 people come to faith over a three-year period, which, for a small, local project, is quite good; but relationship-building is the primary focus for us. There's no pressure."

The Tuesday-evening meetings last about two hours, with an emphasis on people discussing their biking interests and talks from experts, including the police, fire brigade, and motorbike instructors.

Mr Harris, who had his first bike, a moped, as a teenager, said: "The bike scene does have a community."

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