Evangelical rural youth starts “Late Night Church” on YouTube | Sunday paper

the Evangelical rural youth (ELJ) organizes itself independently in 180 villages and regularly reaches 10,000 young people and young adults.

The offer is varied – from putting up the maypole to coffee care in the seniors’ group, from old clothes collection to rock night, what the places and regions put on their own legs is offered.

“Due to the Corona situation, we were forced last year to suddenly rethink a tried-and-tested format – the so-called rural youth service at the international Green Week in Berlin,” says Benedikt Herzog, rural youth pastor at the Evangelical rural youth in Bavaria.

Try new formats

After the rural youth service in Berlin had to be canceled due to Corona, the ELJ asked itself how they could reach young people in a way that was easy to reach and still had depth. “Our contact with the poetry slamer Jens Hoffmann and the connection with the technical side, supported by Matthias Pracht, has produced the prototype of the Spirit (= service in a different form). It quickly became clear that more is possible here. So we then have a hybrid Easter night organized together and the train to Late Night Church picked up speed,” reports Herzog.

On the channel, the ELJ would like to take up the issues of young people and work on them with guests in an entertaining, but also humorous and with the necessary depth. It is particularly important to you that the topics “It’s best to come from the target group itself and then achieve added value, depth and diversity through the guests. In the end, we want to become the platform for a newly formed community,” says Herzog.

A channel not only for young people from rural areas

At the beginning, the topics should be based on those of the already existing community within the Evangelical rural youth. “We want to consciously address those who may have had to leave their village because of training or studies or work that brought them to another place,” explained Herzog. At this point in life, many ELJ members have retired from active work, but still want to know what is happening on the ground. The Late Night Church would like to offer an anchor point.

“Through the Late Night Church you can feel connected no matter where in the world. And there are like-minded people here from all over Germany, because the everyday issues will not only affect people from Bavaria or the Protestant rural youth.”

A video will be published every three weeks until Easter, in between the ELJ would like to publish short videos in addition to the longer elements on Sunday evening.

The annual theme of the ELJ “Be a trendsetter: Change your lifestyle. Save the planet” should also be reflected on the channel. Among other things, it should be about sustainability in everyday life, nutrition but also home. Love, sex and partnership are also topics on the channel. Incidentally, the Late Night Church is shot from the Maulbeere – a recently closed organic unpackaged shop in Langenaltheim.

The team behind the channel

Next to Benedikt Herzog stands Jens Hoffmann, poetry slammer and organizer of the Reimnacht Weißenburg, in front of the camera. Sara Endres, the regional chairwoman of the ELJ, supports the team with editorial and design work on a voluntary basis. For the opening event on January 23, they were able to win over the videographer of the band Schandmaul, Matthias Pracht. Former ELJer Marius Ott is on board as video producer.

Funded by the MUT project

The project will be supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria (ELKB) until March as part of the MUT project promoted. Whether the funding will continue after that is currently not foreseeable. However, the team behind the channel definitely wants to organize an Easter night – and then hopes for follow-up financing.


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