RECENT statistics suggest that 47 per cent of youth related crime and antisocial behaviour is caused by 3.8 per cent of teenagers.

Despite this, young people so often get a bad press for their attitude, antisocial behaviour and the trouble they seemingly cause.

The reality is that the vast majority of young people are being labelled and have a tarnished reputation for the behaviour of the minority of young people.

I don’t think we’d be so quick to suggest adults have a particular reputation because of the attitude or actions of a marginal percentage of the adult population.

This week is a national initiative called HOPE (see for more info) where churches aim to help positively impact and transform their communities.

For example in Stonehouse PSALMS are working with local young people to help celebrate and look after the community that they call home, through such activities as litter picking.

When we have done such activities in the past we have seen young people passionately care about their community and inspire others as they lead by example.

Moreover, it challenges and encourages people from all generations to look after their community and be part of its development.

We all have different motivations for giving up time and energy to help with social action.

As a Christian I believe that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is core to who I am and everything I do.

It is indeed Jesus who motivates me to help others and give what little I have for the greater good of society

The challenge to myself and other churchgoers is that the church has at times been labelled judgmental, hypocritical and even pharisaic as it perhaps hasn’t been practising what it preaches about the need to ‘be’ the good news in today’s world.

Dare I say that this same challenge applies to all of us as we place expectations upon our young people to positively impact society without always modelling it ourselves?