Christian Endeavour was founded in Maine in 1881 because Dr. Clark saw that there were many opportunities for youth to “hear” the Word, but few for young people to learn to “do”. Christianity isn’t a philosophy, it’s not about who knows the most in their heads. Christian Endeavourers are doers. CE started as a way to train and equip young people to become leaders within the local church.
Mission. Why do we exist?
CE exists for Christ and the Church – to encourage personal faith in Jesus and to equip young people in service.
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Vision. What matters to us?
To give as many young people as possible a genuine encounter with Christ Jesus, encouraging and equipping them to serve Him wholeheartedly.
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- The existence of God as living and loving creator of the universe.
- The authority of Jesus Christ as Lord, Saviour and Judge.
- The presence of God in His people through the Holy Spirit.
- The mandate of Christians to participate in the mission of God.
- The good news of salvation through faith in Christ alone.
- The unity of Christians through the Spirit as the body of Christ.
- The authority of the Bible in all matters of faith and practice.
Values. How do we act?
We are absolutely convinced that we only grow as followers of Jesus by practising what He preaches. CE is a movement of young people who are committed to following Jesus Christ. We are absolutely convinced that we only grow as followers of Jesus by practicing what He preaches. Christianity isn’t a philosophy, it’s not about who knows the most in their heads. Christian Endeavourers are doers.
SACEUI values 5 practices. There are all sorts of variations on these themes, but these 5 practices are essential to practice if Jesus’ followers are to grow into strong and well balanced people who will make a lasting difference in Jesus’ name.
Relying on love and Renewal from God…
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
…the Worship of God
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment… Matthew 22:37-38
… Action toward Others
…and the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
…and the Mission of God
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20a
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History. What is our past?
Christian Endeavour (CE) was founded in Portland, Maine in 1881 by Canadian born Dr. Francis E. Clark at the Williston Congregational Church. Dr. Clark saw that there were many opportunities for youth to “hear” the Word, but few for young people to learn to “do”. CE started as a way to train and equip young people to become leaders within the local church.
For years, Dr. Clark agonized over the church’s inability to interest young people in the cause of Christ and sought a way to keep them in the church – he crafted a pledge which listed all the things the young Christian would DO to apply Christianity.
The 57 young people of the Williston Congregational Church of Portland, Maine were stunned by the level of commitment Clark asked of them. This meant a REAL sacrifice of time and energy. They would ACTUALLY have to LIVE the Christian life. Every single young person signed. The results were astonishing. They took ownership of their Christianity. They led Bible studies, professed their faith publicly, and applied Christianity to every area of their lives.
Their churches grew, the ranks of mission organisations swelled, and their cause circled the globe.
The young people surged forward to the leading edge of societal development, becoming the masters of new communication technologies and new philosophies for nurturing young people.
The early Endeavourers REVERSED the common teachings of the church on young people and launched what is now called ‘youth ministry.’ Now, nearly every youth ministry organization today can be linked to Christian Endeavour either in history, method, or both.
At the 25th anniversary of Christian Endeavour, there were 67,000 societies worldwide, 4,000,000 members, and the first Christian youth movement was in full swing. By the time of Dr. Clark’s death, Christian Endeavour had already trained millions who went on to lead the cause of Christ in the church, in politics, business, and philanthropy. Clark recruited young people, challenged them to lead the cause of Christ, and changed his world.
The simplicity of the CE message and mission was and continues to be effective. By remaining as a Christ-centred and Bible-based ministry, CE has helped countless thousands of young people to put their faith to action. Many of the youth who have been exposed to the message have gone on to become leaders in churches, Christian organizations, and secular institutions throughout the world. While new models have come and gone, the CE mindset remains true and effective.
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