A new Christian-based group in Airdrie is hoping to engage youth in the city to find belonging and friendship with others.
One City Network is the brainchild of Kingdom City Church Lead Director of Youth, Luke Toner. The idea is to gather Christian and non-Christian youth from grades 5 to 12 for an evening of worship, scripture-based teaching and connection.
“I think at first my big push as a youth pastor is to ensure that our youth know that God loves them, God sees them, God knows them and whatever they are going through God is there for them,” says Toner.
“With One City our hope is that youth will understand that there might be a world that is against them, but God is not against them. He is for them and we want them to know they have a home and place with him, and their identity comes from Him and not the world.”
The events run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Each night starts with games, before youth head into an auditorium for worship and a time of teaching. Toner says the hope is to give youth a bite-sized message they can take away with them each night and apply it to their lives going forward.
Their inaugural event back in 2023 had more than 300 youth attend. They are hoping to double attendance this year with three different events throughout the City.
One City Network is much more than a youth rally for Toner.
For the last 8 years, he had been wrestling with how to solve division between churches in Airdrie. In January 2023 he realized connecting youth in the City could help.
“I know I can’t solve the issue of division amongst the larger church community, but I can implement something so our youth can be more connected and become like one body like the bible tells us to be,” says Toner.
“These youth are eventually going to grow up to be the adults of Airdrie. So hopefully we can make a difference through One City and really have our youth set the tone for the adults.”
One City Network is having their next event on February 9th at the Airdrie Christian Academy. For more updates, follow them on Instagram @onecitynetwork.