Voluntary participation; The perilous pathway for the youthworker and minister to navigate

A couple of questions to start off with: Why do young people attend youth provision? and What keeps them there? In all the afterschool, weekend or evening youth provision that occurs outside of the remit of the education or justice system, these are crucial critical questions to ask about young people and why they attend … Continue reading “Voluntary participation; The perilous pathway for the youthworker and minister to navigate”

Is our concept of participation, in youth ministry, too small?

Why is it that young people are often involved in committees at schools, as young as primary school, given responsibility in ‘anti-bullying’ campaigns, tasked with being peer mentors, and encouraged to have their view on school councils within school – and yet in churches they’re often just given a picture to colour in and an … Continue reading “Is our concept of participation, in youth ministry, too small?”

If discipleship is about participation, then why is this an issue in churches?

‘To show just how much this church values young people – we’ve appointed a youthworker!’ ‘to all young people of _____ area, the adults from ______ church/ministry are putting on an evening entertainment in a building you’ve never been before and involving people you’ve never heard of but we know them, and please if you … Continue reading “If discipleship is about participation, then why is this an issue in churches?”

Authentic participation & How will young people in your church stay?

If there is a difference between youth ministry, and missional youthwork, maybe it could be summed up by the thought that youth ministry attempts to stop young people who are in the church from leaving, like plugging the gaps in a colander, where missional youthwork begins with the premise that young people are no-where in … Continue reading “Authentic participation & How will young people in your church stay?”

Increasing participation beyond the fourth wall

Have you noticed how important you are right now?  How crucial you are to this perfect moment, this dialogue between me, and you. You might be in the bath, on the toilet, in bed, in your lounge or on a train, but you right now are really important. Because I am speaking to you. I’m … Continue reading “Increasing participation beyond the fourth wall”

The curtain torn, like never before

‘At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened.’ (Matthew 27:51) At that moment the curtain was torn, in two, from top to bottom. For so long the desire for the curtain to be torn open … Continue reading “The curtain torn, like never before”

13 ways Zoom could be more Youth work Friendly

Just imagine that world before zoom, feels a long time ago now doesn’t it, those heady days of early march, spring sunshine, freedom of movement, travel and many other things in life we did with barely a thought, that we dont have now. But one we do have now, at the forefront of many of … Continue reading “13 ways Zoom could be more Youth work Friendly”

10 years of austerity; is mission fatigue creeping in?

I am just sitting in a cafe in Newcastle, having a bit of an unexpected time to myself, it was a day when I could have met and had three conversations with different people, work related, and in the end I only had one. But that’s ok. For I think its ok to stop. Every … Continue reading “10 years of austerity; is mission fatigue creeping in?”

‘How was your experience of youth group today?’ Evaluating Youth work in an evaluation culture

‘How was your experience in Tescos today’ ‘please tell us how you feel about the cleanliness of the toilets today’ ‘share your experiences of the airport security today’ ‘your opinion matters to us’ In case you haven’t noticed, its as if we’re living in a culture where opinions and where evaluation is all around us. … Continue reading “‘How was your experience of youth group today?’ Evaluating Youth work in an evaluation culture”

15 point election manifesto for ‘The Youthwork Party’

Yeah, Its a stretch of the imagination, to some degree, but imagine if there was a ‘Youthwork Party’ and it was running for the election in a few weeks time. Could you imagine what would be the 15 points in the Manifesto? Well… take out your magic ball, your shiny lamp and imagine with me, … Continue reading “15 point election manifesto for ‘The Youthwork Party’”