How was I meant to predict my schedule without an electronic reminder popping up at precisely the right time? Who could I call without my prolific contact book producing the correct number at the click of a button (not the best time to realise the only digits I remember are my home phone circa 1990)? What would get me through my commute in the absence of a mindless Facebook newsfeed scroll?

Turns out, even though I grew up without a computer, mobile phone or social media profile, my life is now somewhat dominated by the device in my hand. So, what hope is there for our children and young people; the ‘digital natives’ who have grown up immersed in YouTube, Instagram and Pokémon Go? Thankfully, help is on hand in the shape of Care for the Family’s Katharine Hill. Katharine walks us through some of the potential pitfalls of modern technology, while highlighting its many positives. She challenges us to help our children navigate their way around the digital world and encourages us to bring them into our decisions around boundaries and guidelines.

Elsewhere this month, prepare to be challenged over whether we are pricing young people out of the gospel. You may not agree with everything Allan Clyde says, but he certainly asks some important questions. And we speak to Alpha legends Nicky and Pippa Gumbel, who are keen to emphasise that youth and children’s ministry should not be a side thing. The Gumbels want to see youth and children’s workers equipped and empowered, not only to develop the faith of children in their churches, but also to reach the millions of lost young people outside the church walls.

I think one of the most terrifying verses in the Bible is Judges 2:10: “After that generation died, another generation grew up who neither knew the Lord nor what he had done.” Please no, not on our watch. My prayer for this magazine is that we will encourage, challenge and provoke you wonderful people to be the best children, youth and family ministers and parents you can possibly be. You will inevitably disagree with some of the content. I will too. But without healthy disagreement, we will not grow (don’t believe me? Check out last month’s issue!). You will undoubtedly feel uncomfortable. Me too. But, let’s face it, the gospel is far from comfortable (see 1 Corinthians 1:23). We will hopefully be moved to the core of our being. If we’re not stirred up and set on fire with an irresistible and, at times, painful urge to see a generation won for Christ, we’ll quickly become tired, drained and results-orientated. In the Gospels, when Jesus “has compassion”, the Greek word is highly onomatopoeic and literally means ‘to be moved in the inward parts’. Jesus’ deep-rooted ‘compassion’ for his creation should inspire us to ask for our hearts to be similarly broken for our children and young people so that we will be motivated to do something about it, with his help.

As we head into a new term together, I want to take this opportunity to echo Rachel Gardner’s heartfelt thanks for everything you do for our children and young people. You guys are the unsung heroes, world shapers, hope bringers and prophetic innovators. Thank you. And bring it on!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Emily Mitchell to the team. Emily brings a wealth of children’s work experience to the deputy editor role. She arrived at Premier Towers hot off a southbound Cumbrian train, where she was ministering as a children and families, worker in the rural parish of Ulverston. The astute among you will notice a surname change next month. That’s not because we got Emily’s name wrong, but because she’s getting married in October. Whoop!