Putting down roots: A call to young people

Putting down roots: A call to young people
Simon Arscott
Simon Arscott Simon has been sent by the International Presbyterian Church to lead All Nations Church, Ilford. Born and bred south of the river in Camberwell, London, he studied in York.
08 July, 2024 5 min read

How about this as a vision for your life? Put down your roots deep and early. Commit to a local church for life. Then pass that vision on to the next generation. Before unpacking this call, let me start with a number of caveats.

Heavenly, not earthly

Our true homeland is not any patch of territory here below, but the heavenly country (Hebrews 11). Our roots, therefore, need to sink deep into the soil of heaven. However attached we may get to our locality, we need to embrace our fundamental identity as pilgrims: here we have no lasting city.


In Acts, the gospel spreads through people’s dislocation – the scattering after Paul’s death (Acts 8); Aquila and Priscilla forced to leave Rome (Acts 18); Paul’s missionary journeys (Acts 13–19). The ‘go!’ of the great commission is always there to uproot and disturb us (Matthew 28). Jesus talks about leaving lands for his sake (Matthew 19). ‘Arise, go!’ is a frequent divine call (Genesis 31; Deuteronomy 10; Jonah 1).


A potential downside to sticking in one place is that a church becomes insular and small-minded. When it’s the same people all the time, a church can feel suffocating and stuffy; so, the young people want to break out and experience some adventure. Cross-fertilisation is valuable. Travel broadens the mind.

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