Youthworkers; can we be too available?

I got bullied at school. Not alot, teased mercilessly at times, part of the banter for a while, due to being a christian, not being so great at football (though trying really hard), being not clever enough, not popular enough and more acutely not having a girlfriend ‘early’ enough. So there was banter, for a long while, but when it came to the time of being ‘what i would say now’ bullied properly it wasnt for a huge length of time, but it happened.

In those days, yep, the mid to early 1990’s, there were no youthworkers, who spend lots of time in school. I doubt if there were more than 50 paid youthworkers in schools in the country, and so the things i did at school at lunchtime were run by teachers. So, yes i went to the christian union, football training and badminton clubs -they were all run by teachers, and because i gave myself the opportunity to interact with teachers in non-teaching time i was able to talk with them about the bullying that i was exeperiencing. It was still a very difficult conversation, and i was absolutely bricking it ( shows my age that one), and going to the science lab at 3.30 to talk to the ‘christian union’ teacher (who wasnt my normal teacher) i still remember to this day.

It was beneficial all round. Because the teacher had interacted more informally with us, she (Mrs Green) was someone whom i could divulge the situation, and i would only have to do this once, only have to have the conversation with one person who would be able to deal with it, in the structures of the school. I did have to have the conversation again, the next day, with the head of year, but at that point id done it the first time. Felt empowered actually that it wasnt ‘my fault’ and that something would be done.

The reason i am reflecting on this, is that i wonder if at times we as youthworkers in schools, for whatever reasons, clubs, mentoring, sports make ourselves too involved in the contexts of the young person. In a desperate attempt to be involved, we’re the youth club leader, the after schools club leader, the lunchclub leader. Doing some great youthwork, amazing youthwork. But what happens when the young person wants to tell us first that they’re being bullied, or something worse. Because after all, weve put ourselves in the space that once was where the ‘friendly’ teacher might have been.

If we become the person that the young person wants to trust to talk to for the first time; what might it feel like when we have to say, we’ll actually you’ll have to tell a guidance teacher, or your tutor as well. Or worse – ill have to on your behalf..

Maybe this is a futile conversation anyway (most of my blogs are) but in the busyness of trying to become a person who young people can trust, can speak to, should we also enable teachers, and those who might have actual power to deal with situations, to be alongside us so that the young person doesnt just relate to us – especially if in the long run we might not actually be around for the long term (due to funding) anyway. It might be futile also, because in reality there arent that many youthworkers in schools in the UK even now, and teachers are doing wonderful jobs, and giving up lunchtimes and afterschool to invest more into young people than ‘just’ academia. However, this is as much a personal reflection on my own experience of needing teachers to be ‘youthworkers’ and supportive and helpful in my own teenage years.

 

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Liberation Theology in Youth Ministry; An inconvenient Truth?

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” Said the dying Jesus on the cross according to Matthews Gospel. But to whom?

The guards as they divided his clothes?  The Disciples for whom 11 had fled, especially Peter? The Romans? The Jews? The other bystanders?

At the point at which someone could be blamed for their behaviour, convicted of their disobedience or ignorance, Jesus gives them all a new victim status. They do not know what they are doing. They are still victims, still not in recipient of judgement. They stand at the foot of the cross, absolved and ultimately liberated by a Jesus who acknowledges that the powers of the society, the politics, the conditioning have on they way they are acting. He echoes on the Cross his own pledge of John 3:17 – ” I have not come to judge the world..”

Whatever happened to liberation Theology (that takes seriously these powers) in Youth Ministry?  I ask this because its difficult to find in writings, in articles, in practice- the focus has been and continues to feel to be, certainly in England, to serve what appears to be a keeping and attracting young people to the activities of the church. With anecdotes of ‘starfish’ (changing one life at a time- regardless of trying to build a bloody dam to save more than one), rather that social, ethical or community transformation.

step back a bit first; If there is a Theology that shapes your youth ministry- what is it? where does it come from?

and how does it affect your practice?

Where might your theology influence;

a) the way in which young people you work with explore the Bible and the church community

b) the way in which you encourage the church to view its community context

c) the community of the young people, their families

 

And if its liberation theology – what different might that make?

by way of a little brief explanation;

“Liberation Theology presupposes an energetic protest at such a situation, such as:

a) on the social level collective oppression, exclusion and marginalisation

b) on the individual level; injustice and basic human rights

c) on the religious level; social sinfulness, “contrary to the plan of the creator, and to the honour due to him” (Taken from Boff 2000 p3)

When we think about young people, not just young people outside the church, who face injustices in their community such as poverty and exclusion, but what about the of young people in the community of the church- are they not the oppressed generation. Especially if as is more often the case, its the church that abandons them, not the other way around (see this article by Naomi Stanton) – so might understanding, and thinking about Liberation Theology be a good starting point for the way in which young people interact with their local faith community?

How might a pledge to do liberative practice with young people affect their faith? Their participation and discipleship?

Is it the case that we invest in the activities and programmes, and not realise the theology, the dare I say it ‘version’ of Christianity being offered through them.

So if liberation theology hasnt taken root in England within Youth Ministry – is it because its the forgotten addendum to the theology of the church which is the dog to youth ministry’s tail? Forgotten by vicars and ministers in training – when numbers and growth of churches, even twitter followers and empires become more important?

Yet is it the inconvenient truth? , as “once we recognise the identification of Jesus with the poor, we cannot any longer consider our own relation to the poor (and marginalised etc) as a social ethics question; it is a gospel question; the problem of my own bread is a material issue; the problem of my neighbours bread is a spiritual issue” (Bosch 2011:447)

Bosch goes on to say, that a Liberation Theology is counter hegemonic, the threats to humanity are not nature (ie Daily express headlines) but the structures of Human powers which exploits and destroys the powerless. (p443)

What effect would developing liberation theology in the life of the church, in youth ministry have? not just social action, linked to social justice as an arm of action for the evangelical – but a church that takes seriously its own power, that might be damaging, its own effect on young peoples participation in community, in faith. In realising that interpretation, and thus faith occurs in social, economic and cultural contexts that are powerful, these must be questionned and critiqued.

Our role as youthworkers and ministers then is to show hospitality to the other, the young person  (Nouwen) and that as we “form allegiances with outsiders, foreigners, enemies and so forth, in the conviction that God’s redeeming work always discloses itself along these frontiers” (Koenig)

How are we liberating young people in youth ministry? – not just from ‘personal sin’ – but liberating them to flourish in full participation in the community of the church, in community, and in what ways are we acting to challenge the powers that inhibit – be they powers of apathy, materialism, control, ageism, sexism, LGBT, racism, wealth… – where is the revolution?

Does the hand that feed us, the our monthly pay packet, or our own self preservation stop us from standing up for young people?  or is it something else..? we’re too nice within the walls of church structures maybe..? “if we enter the confusing area of corporate ethics, we must be ready, to step forward along some controversial paths”- writes David Shepherd in ‘Bias to the Poor’ in 1980

Has the threat to the (youth + church) services that were seeking to provide, enact and transform society caused them to become more concerned about sustainability and not transformation –  and who or what is it that is transforming society now- or seeking to do so, the peacemakers, community activists and the volunteers whove driven lorries to Calais.

If there has been a vast pouring out of emotion + action = compassion for Refugees, and massive collective desire in collectivism and grass roots mobilisation for Jeremy Corbyn – What about a grass roots movement of change to affect the lives of young people in the North East?  What might that look like? how would it start? Would the church be on the forefront denouncing the structures that bind, hinder and inhibit life, or hovering at the back waiting with the tea and buscuits hoping people might come in to the building some day.

Might liberation theology be the inconvenient truth, to awkward and uncomfortable to believe, to live and to act out with young people, yet it might be what young people might be crying out for us to do with them, listen, live and challenge the barriers that hold them back. It might also give youth ministry and youth ministers an edge.

Freedom they cried, in the peoples theatre; “the spectator no longer delegated power to the characters (in the play) either to think or act in his/her place. The spectator frees himself; he thinks and acts for himself; Theatre is action! Perhaps the theatre is not revolutionary in itself – have no doubts – it is the rehearsal of revolution!”  (Boal 2000)

Its slightly ironic that Liberation Theology might be the inconvenient truth for Youth Ministry, yet in trying to think theologically about Youth work; based upon educational empowerment and flourishing – Liberation is key, and it stems from the thinking and values of Boal & more particularly Friere. Liberation theology could be more pertinent in thinking of how youth work is a useful method, practice and philosophy for the church, but that depends on the ecclesiology & missiology of the church itself. Lots of liberation needed.

Detached youthwork; some of the bizarre moments to treasure….

Being out on the streets of a community or city will give you a whole new perspective on the cycle of life of the world, of your town or local population, from the so called ‘night-time’ economies of pubs/clubs/taxis and travel, to the other people who inhabit the spaces such as late night joggers, dog-walkers, and those who need to get to the 24hr shop for something urgent, like calpol, milk or lager. However, being around on an evening doing detached is, as ive said many times before, a grey space in the margins, unscripted, where improvisation can and needs to occur – there is no pre plan. And so, some funny, some bizarre, some breathtaking; here are some moments on detached that required the proverbial thinking on our feet; I would guarantee you would have some stories to tell also;

  1. The fight involving adults where one of them lost their phone, when it kept calling it was local drug dealers.
  2. The night where the Meteor went over the dark Perth sky – watching it in the dark, just incredible
  3. The incident of the two young people having sex in the car park behind the night club, just as you walk past them…
  4. The moment where after giving the group of young people chalk to draw with on the pavement, they start decorating a neighbours house..
  5. The incident when theres a fight between a group of young people, and they all want you to be on their side, as you know all of them.
  6. The incident where the at the Bus stop where you end up talking to the parents of the young person who told you that they abuse her, you know she is also in town not far away.
  7. The incident where the drunk young people climb over a fence to pee in a garden, only for the homeowners to come out in their dressing gowns to berate other young people and them, whilst you’re with them. They think you should have stopped them, or are responsible for them.
  8. The curious incidents of the dog walkers who deliberately walk by the young people every night and berate them for being lazy, whilst also realising that they havent got jobs to go to like they did in the 1950’s
  9. The moments where you’re invited by the young people to walk with them, as they go somewhere.. should you?, these moments have been a privilege, but can be frought with danger, as in one case where a young person had drank a little too much and decided en route to climb and stand on top of a traffic light.
  10. The Stag nights, and Hen do’s. anything can happen, most incidents involve conversations whereby the ‘hens’ like our uniform, and try and pretend to be ‘young’ people. Scarier than any young person or group of young people Ive ever met.

These are just a few that Ive encountered with teams of volunteers on detached, most of them in Perth, some in Durham. They make detached youthwork sparky, fun and unscripted.  Its like Frederich Beuchnar says; “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”, and even when its evening, its still the world, still real people, real moments of being in the world. Being non judgemental, and trying to make transformation possible for and with young people, starting at the crazy point of where they’re at, its a place where Jesus would be.

Youthworker as sales rep?

Following the theme of Mark Smiths classic book “Youth work”, whereby he describes the aspects, and approaches of the roles that youth workers take; such as ‘redcoat’ (to entertain) or Educator (err to Educate). It has become apparent that being a sales person is now one of the key components, or if i’m more blunt, the essential criteria of being able to survive, and sustain in youthwork.

When i worked at EDF Energy in their call centre in Sunderland 15 years ago, the beast of door to door Gas & Electricity doorstep selling had started to wind down, given the huge numbers of issues caused by the sales, contracts and customers, yet even though i was on the customer incoming calls, or managing a team who were dealing with incoming calls, there was still an emphasis on encouraging customers to add extra products to their account, whether Gas, or Electricity ( in those days selling broadband or mobile phones was unheard of). The motivation to sell, increase customer base and products was very clear in the cut throat competitive world of post-nationalised Utility Company. And though i was glad of the bonus as the manager of a team who could improve their sales targets month by month ( it helped that theyd set their bar very low for the first year), selling wasnt something natural to me, and still isnt.

Nevertheless, one of the challenges that both Youthwork and Youth Ministry (to use the distinction) now face is the need to be able to compete in the new world of increased competition for funding, competition to be noticed as a brand, competition to impact-ful, competition for personal donations (amongst other charities), and so there is now the need more than ever for youthwork to be about selling; selling organisations, selling products & resources, selling events that raise money for brands/organisations, selling a programme (to young people), selling ourselves (as credible) or selling our time and skills to others, as individual consultants.

There may be many reasons for this, given now that lack of statutory funding for youthwork, and thus competition for funding, or more Part time/self employed/freelance roles in the profession.

Maybe convincing is a better word than selling, however there’s not a great deal of difference; because we should ask ourselves critical questions of the work/calling/ministry that we’re in,  if convincing or selling are part of the sustainability package. Especially if that involves convincing young  people to participate in expensive camps, not for their benefit/needs but so that it might break even. Or if we have to sell the state of poverty that young people are in so that it convinced funders to donate, or round up figures for attendance so that churches give, or encourage young people by paying them to participate in programmes. Should this trouble us as youthworkers, who are acting within a values base? It probably does, and so this is preaching to the converted, yet I’m personally troubled that this is a type of person or personality that youthworkers might have to take on to survive in this seeming competitive world. Its a place i feel uncomfortable, and that’s more than just a personal thing, its a values thing.

So, is Youthworker as Sales rep – something that we know is what youthworkers need to become, or have been for a while- and what are the ethical, philosophical challenges this might bring, given the pragmatic need for funding, or the organisational size to cope with the need for sales people to sell organisations, and people people to do the actual youthwork.

One day institutions will invest in youthworkers because they are good for the institution, and the person of the youthworker need to sell no more. Schools, other than the few in Scotland, will employ youthworkers, to do youthwork, as will churches, and hospitals are starting to. The philosophy and outworking of youthwork is good for people, good for communities and good for society. There, sales pitch over.

 

 

Energised by Community

It was only 4 hours of my time. 4 hours where I gave up a bike ride, a dog walk, spending time with my family or playing football with George.  Turning up at a local church in Hartlepool with 4 pairs of scissors, a packet of cakes, the aforementioned George and my car.
Turning up the road to see it lined with cars, with boxes with people. And inside, this;

image

Mountains of stuff, donated, collected, waiting to be sorted;  people busying and organised community spirit.
In four hours I was privileged to be a tiny cog in a large engine that will have taken a lorry load of aid to the refugees in Calais. In four hours I was acting like others in community, acting in response to the plight of thousands of people for which four hours might be the time it takes to walk 15 miles across eastern europe, or travel across the med.
Communities of compassion, stoked by images, enthused by hope, gathered by one of most positive uses of social media since the dawn of facebook, determined and encouraged to make the lives of other humans better.
In four hours I sorted bags of clothes,  moved bags of clothes, and took 2 car loads of stuff to the depot awaiting collection.

image

This was one container after a days work. There’s so much more.

Compassion and the small acts of kindness from a lot of people is going a very long way.
Communities of compassion , energised by hope, in the UK.

Just incredible and thank you.

10 ways that youthwork practice might be helpful in the church

Heres a few things that churches in the UK could learn from good youthwork practice, and possibility put it into practice in the whole church community.

  1. Models for reflective practice. Such as Kolb, Argyris & Schon – Youthworkers know these, to their discomfort like the back of their hand
  2. A desire to have ongoing professional external supervision – ie someone to talk to, to be asked questions and continue with conversational reflection (see point 1) and try and continually personally improve, to contextually be challenging barriers of inclusion.
  3. Youthworkers value conversations with people about anything. If thats where mission starts from, and what God is about (cf Vanhoozer 2010), then to understand conversation and true dialogue might be a good God thing.
  4. Youthwork practice is suitable in most contexts – where there is young people..
  5. Youthwork practice is about the authentic embodiment of values with young people, should this be encouraged in the church, with missional action in accordance with Christian values..?
  6. Youthwork practice is educational, its about flexibility and variety of opportunities to learn, and learn from each other.
  7. Youthwork practice is about Human and community liberation and flourishing, it has methods , thinking and philosophy such as Friere, to enable this to be done for the benefit of those oppressed.
  8. Youthwork is about building relationships according to values, and actions that are inclusive, non-judgemental and promote equality and genuine participation  – shouldnt the church?
  9. Youthwork is about working with young people in social contexts in groups – how might understanding groups and group work theory help the wider church?
  10. Youthworkers can be critical, and might help others be critical, and in that critical reflection enable deeper thinking, learning and exploring of issues, or in the church of faith and its complexity.

What if youthworkers ran the church? – what might change about the church? How might youthwork be helpful approaches, philosophy and practice to help the church?

Starting conversations with young people; 100,000 moments to build community

I can think of a few reasons for this; but starting with some of the evidence in local regions. If you were to look at the following websites : Nomis Age structure Data or ONS you will be relatively easily be able to find out how many young people there are in specific areas of the country. Ive just used the drop down area selection on the Nomis page to discover the quantity of people in age bands for the local authority area of Hartlepool. Its possible to locate LA and regional figures.

Every Anglican Diocese has about 300 parish churches, and most areas will have at least 2/3 again non Anglican churches.

Depending on how generous we’re feeling, let say that whether there are paid/voluntary/professional/ecumenical youthworkers in post in some of the churches/towns, that each church maybe works on average with 10 young people.

So if there are 500 churches in a diocese area, 10 children and young people per church – thats about 5,000 young people. How many young people are in your county or region or area again?

How many service for adults, families and the older people occur in churches?

How much money is being spent on and directed towards theological training to maintain these services? – compared to the money invested in thinking, researching and growing ‘working with young people in appropriate contextual ways’?

So what are the reasons for this?

  1. Churches have believed the lie that to work well with young people that you have to be young, aware of ‘you tube’ and be personally relevant to their culture.
  2. Churches have believed the lie that young people are scary, hard work, difficult and challenging. I think if the mirror was held up at PCC meetings….
  3. Churches have believed since 1960’s that evangelism is the key driver for working with young people, and thus relevance (point 1), and fun/relevence to a gospel message,  and church growth as a definable outcome contribute to often poor and unrealistically evaluated approaches being used
  4. If point 2 is to be believed, then the only way young people can be worked with is by an expert. And if there isnt the resource in the church to fund an expert then there might be a reluctance to start.
  5. Maybe that young people all leave town to go to Uni at 18 – so whats the point?  or is it that they are economically not viable in the short term? (ie they dont give money to the church now)

Maybe one of the main reasons churches arent prioritising working with young people, is the thought that they already are, through establishments, like church schools, ceremonies like baptisms, or the groups that do exist in the church cultures such as BB, Guides or the YF. – but how many young people from the local area of the church are these groups actually affecting? what of the young people who dont/arent able to attend these things?

The National church of England has a responsibility to the spiritual life and well being of people in the parishes across the country, and that includes people who are not yet considered adults (but are considered people).

Maybe working with young people isnt a priority because it doesnt know where to start? Or maybe because it knows what the outcome is (ie young people coming to church) and doesnt know how to make this happen? Maybe the more churches be deliberate in achieving the outcome the less likely young people might be to respond anyway.

Here’s an thought. What if by 2020, there have been 100,000 positive informal conversations between young people and adults in the county, that aren’t currently happening now? and that a large % of these might be about faith, about life about young people and their reflections on faith/life and future. Is that not a positive thing enough?  And yes who knows where that might lead, but at least there’s a possibility based on actual knowledge and relationships being created…

What if adults and young people started to have conversations that actively broke down misconceptions about all of 1-5 above… what might that do for society, for faith and for the churches, what if every parish, every town had a team of detached youthworkers, ready to meet young people on the streets, listen, and grow the church from scratch all over again…

the thing about detached is that young people dont care about you (ie how trendy you’re trying to be) they care about how honest, respectful and trustworthy you are to them. They are to be found interesting, not you. It shifts the balance.

No im not saying that detached youthwork is going to solve all of it, but the days of posters, events and invites has so long gone, it went when the steam engines did. Cultures have shifted and the work of the church with young people in local communities has got to start with them, listening to them and in a place where they are more comfortable that we are.

It needs 3 people. 3 people who can walk. 3 people who want to listen to young people.  The street pastors have gathered armies of volunteers to be out at 3am, surely in churches and parishes across the land we can begin to develop moments of conversations on the streets, in public places such as parks, shops and skateparks, moments of sharing life and being with young people and discover a new world of already spiritual young people, of God already at work in the life of communities and opportunities to explore, learn and grow together.

Also, with not much training, its bloody cheap, it builds community and says something about the vulnerability and discipleship to which is professed.

If you’re interested in starting this let me, or FYT/Streetspace know- we would love to help you start this journey…

Why does Youth Ministry play the generationalism game?

“Libeau and Chisholm (1993) suggested that “European Youth” (in the same way American, British or Asian) do not exist. Their point being that nationally framed cultures and economies follow their own courses, young people in the different countries and regions that make up Europe negotiate very different circumstances to one another. They are shaped by the material ‘objective’ aspects of the cultures and societies and by the ways in which they interpret these circumstances. ”  Wyn and White (1997)

From this short extract in the opening chapters of ‘Rethinking Youth’ it would and could be inferred that there is something to be said about the uniqueness of every young person, that a generalisation of stating that ‘European Youth’ does not exist, in that same way that ‘British Youth’ or American Youth might not for the same reasons. It would be difficult to suggest that a young person growing up in Peterlee was the same as a young person growing up in Hartlepool, let alone Barnard Castle. Their experiences, their economies, their cultures and the way they interpret them are all vastly different. So it would unfair to try and say that a ‘British young person is like X or Y or even Z’

So why do we do it? or more particularly why does youth ministry in particular make generalisations about young people, and why does it seem that the church is a key adopter of these generalisations?

When I was doing my gap year in Hartlepool with Oasis Trust, one of the sociological constructs that we as a team in the training began to explore was the sociological generalisations broadly married to birth dates such as Baby Boomer and Generation X, it shows how long ago it was because there was only two to talk about, and most of us at that time, fresh faced 18 year olds in 1996 were said to be in the tail-end of Generation X. Along with this there were aspects of identity that would show how we fitted into that ‘generation’ as well as the typical TV programmes that were gen-X – such as ‘Shooting stars’ or ‘The Simpson’s.  Image result for generation x After Generation X (which we were the emerging leaders) there would be Generation Y who would be the young people who we would be youth minister to, and so it would be really insightful sociologically to understand their nature, from these generalisations so we could act in an appropriate way. To our credit we tried to, and even excusing their behaviour at times because they were only acting in accordance subconsciously with the sociological construct with which their age would determine – ie its ok they’re just being gen-Y…

So, back in the early days of academically thought work with young people, these Sociological generational generalisations were coming to be prominent. In 1997 Rick Bartlett wrote a paper for YFC in which he described how the future trends of youth ministry would need to adapt to the changes in young people due to their next generational traits, and how ministries and resources should adopt likewise.

The question is; why has the world of Christian youth ministry/ Christian youth work adopted quite as readily what are essentially sociological generational generalisations?

I have a few thoughts; firstly they give the capacity for large national organisations to plan into what might be predicted on a national scale what might work ie for resourcing or selling ministries

Firstly they give the capacity for large national organisations to plan into what might be predicted on a national scale what might work ie for resourcing or selling ministries

Secondly by wrapping up resources in the traits as described in the sociological construct it gives a perceived validity/strength of the resource

Thirdly, its far easier to provide as resource on a national scale and hope it works for some young people, and sometimes go as far as to suggest that its the young persons fault if they cant comply/participate, than provide the tools to equip contextual work in the regions.

Fourthly – does it appeal to a broader suggestion that its far easier to make judgements of a generalisation of people outside the church – ie common to the pulpit notions of ‘the world’, and so instead of interacting with the world and understandings its reality, far easier to buy into generalised often judgemental notions.

How helpful, or useful, or needed are these generational generalisations?

In reality any youthworker is only going to work with groups of young people in their specific context. Their context, their church, their school, their community. Yet these generational generalisations could do more harm than good if it they stop good working youth work practice, or stop adults from interacting in the reality of young peoples lives, or for seeing young people as unique – something we should be theologically doing anyway. Uniqueness should be something we should focus on, not universalisms and generalisations. Unique needs and gifts, specific adaptions to situation, understanding of identity. But all of this requires effort, specific of approach and time. What significance might the year of someones birth to be in one age category, have more influence over the school they go to , town they live in, family situation and technology.

After all it would be difficult to find a young person who is fully the typical Generation X, or Y, or whatever the latest one is. As a result there will only ever be parts of a whole, no one person is going to be the ideal type. Image result for generation z

These things may be useful sociologically, they might be useful for the consumer, food or entertainment industries in their market research, or predicting trends in habits and behaviours – but are they needed to be adopted in the church? in youth ministry & youthwork? and if not how easy might it be to say so…?

If a young person in any generation requires something different that adults who are genuine, authentic and provide long term support. Im sure thats what Rick Bartlett said in 1997. And has been the kind of thing people have needed since the dawn of time. No amount of sociological research will prove otherwise.

Maybe youth ministry plays the generationalism game because then its easy just to put items on the conveyor belt of practice. Maybe it should be playing the ‘intergeneration/family game instead’.

Subsequent to this post. Generation Z is the thing. A post on that latest research and youth work is here . It does feel like people are labelled in generations before we’ve even tried actually talking to them and building faith communities with them, instead of just trying to analyse the world from a distance.

 

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