100 years of youth ministry

100 years of youth ministry

Duncan Macleod

We’re developing a time line of youth ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand. Here’s a few dates to start us off. Email us your own memories or significant dates so we can keep this page developing - timeline@crumbs.org.nz.


1900 Combined Easter Camp for Presbyterian Bible Classes of Wellington and Christchurch
1902 NZ Presbyterian Young Mens Bible Class Union constituted for young adults
1904 NZ Presbyterian Young Womens Bible Class Union starts.
1905 NZ Baptist Bible Class Union starts
1906 NZ Methodist Young Womens Bible Class Union & Young Mens Bible Class Union started.


1913 Methodist Church in New Zealand – formed from union of Bible Christians, Primitive Methodists and Wesleyan Methodists
1914-1918 World War I
1919 Flu Epidemic


1922 NZ Anglican Bible Class Movement starts
Australasian Graded Curriculum adopted by Presbyterian & Methodist Bible Class Unions
1925 Child Welfare Act
1926 Eight district Presbyterian Easter Camps replace national Easter camp
1927 Evangelical Unions formed in universities – splitting away from Student Christian Movement (SCM). The origin of what is now TSCF
Polio Epidemic – local and national meetings of young people under age of 16 banned by the Health Department
1928 Meeting of representatives from Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican and Baptist Bible Class movements, SCM, YMCA, YWCA, SCM, Boys Scouts, Girl Guides, at Waikanae.


1930 National tour of Howard Guiness, promoting Crusaders in high schools
1931 Residential Camp for boys at Browns Bay, in association with CSSM programme (now Scripture Union’s youth camps and holiday programmes)
Napier Earthquake
1935 Polio Epidemics
Young Christian Workers groups formed in New Zealand.


1939-1945 World War II
1942 Christian Youth Movement (Methodist) replaces Methodist BC Union
1944 National Council of Churches Youth Committee formed. NCC Campaign for Christian Order includes push to win NZ youth for Christ
1948 NZ’s first ecumenical Youth Conference held at Woodbourne, near Blenheim
1948 Pacific Islanders Congregational Church formed in Auckland
1945-1949 Youth For Christ rallies started in post-war years.


A decade marked by high numbers of children and adolescents, and immigration by Dutch and Pacific Islanders
1951 First appointment in Methodist Order of St Stephen
1955 Governmental enquiry into juvenile delinquency
1959 Billy Graham crusade


1962-1965 Vatican II
1963 First University Chaplaincy (Anglican)
1967 Act of Commitment to work together by Negotiating Churches: Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Associated Churches of Christ, Congregational churches.
1968 Moment, joint youth magazine, formed. (lasts until 1972)
1969 Associates in Christian Education – a training programme across 5 negotiating church networks.
1969 Majority of Congregational churches join Presbyterian Church.


1971 Plan for Church Union presented to Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Congregational, Associated Churches of Christ.
1972 Christian Youth Movement (Presbyterian) replaces Presbyterian Bible Class Movement.
1972 Churches Education Commission formed (religion in schools program)
1976 Anglicans reject plan for church union.


1981 Presbyterian/Methodist Youth Conference at Ngaruawahia
1981 Presbyterian Order of St Stephen starts
1983 Methodist Conference announced intention to work toward bicultural Methodist Church in Aotearoa as essential first step on journey towards multi-culturalism.
1984 Baptist Youth Ministries runs road shows and Creative Ministries school.
1985 Conference of Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand replaces National Council of Churches. Catholics join.
1986 First ecumenical October Event, including Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Salvation Army youth leaders and workers.
1987 First issue of Crumbs published by Presbyterians
1987/88 First Methodist Youth Trek
1989 Methodists join in publication of Crumbs.
1989 Churches Youth Ministry Association formed by Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Salvation Army networks.
1989 Anglican Church follows youth model by developing three-tikanga structure: Pihopatanga, Pakeha & Pakeha.


1990 Formation of National Council for Young Catholics (NCYC)
1993 Methodist Empower Your Youth Board starts
1994 Ecumenical Youth Ministry Diploma Board established.
1995 Big E on Evangelism held in Auckland
1996 Diploma in Youth Ministry launched
1997 Crumbs web site launched
1998 Crumbs becomes a CYMA project
1999 ISCF (Inter School Christian Fellowship) changes to SUIS (Scripture Union in Schools)