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.
- Models for reflective practice. Such as Kolb, Argyris & Schon – Youthworkers know these, to their discomfort like the back of their hand
- 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.
- 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.
- Youthwork practice is suitable in most contexts – where there is young people..
- 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..?
- Youthwork practice is educational, its about flexibility and variety of opportunities to learn, and learn from each other.
- 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.
- Youthwork is about building relationships according to values, and actions that are inclusive, non-judgemental and promote equality and genuine participation – shouldnt the church?
- Youthwork is about working with young people in social contexts in groups – how might understanding groups and group work theory help the wider church?
- 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?