When we meet young people – what do we say to them?

This is one of the most common questions people ask me about working with young people, especially young people who are encountered on the streets or public places. When I meet young people what do I say? And it is not just young people on the streets.  When we’re youthworkers in schools, churches, clubs and groups, the most essential aspect of it is the conversations … Continue reading When we meet young people – what do we say to them?

Where is Jesus in your practice? & 9 other difficult questions to reflect on in Youth Ministry

At the beginning of the week, I wrote probably my most dull, but most important article. No witty banter, ironic title or clickbaity picture. It one reason no one read it. Also it is summer holidays and so no one is really wanting to read a reflection on, well, reflection. In that piece I asked the question ‘‘Where has reflective practice gone in youth Ministry?’ and … Continue reading Where is Jesus in your practice? & 9 other difficult questions to reflect on in Youth Ministry

Vulnerability as the starting point of community transformation

“But that might mean we have to be vulnerable” I was at a gathering of people this week, mostly clergy, and the subject within it was about conversations, and creating opportunities to have conversations with people. The kind of thing that detached youthwork is pretty much uniquely and solely about. Ideas flung across the room, such as chatting to people who were waiting at the … Continue reading Vulnerability as the starting point of community transformation

The Evangelical Youth Ministry dream may be over, but is meeting needs innovative?

Every now and again, an article or blog post gets written in the social media world of youth ministry that needs to be both applauded for its honesty and at the same time have a few questions asked of it, or look slightly below the surface. Martin Saunders recent piece on Innovation in Youth Ministry; ‘Innovation: Starting before the idea’, from Youthscape is one such piece. … Continue reading The Evangelical Youth Ministry dream may be over, but is meeting needs innovative?

Being Encouraged by Collaboration

Over the next 40 days of Lent, I am going to try and write a series of 40 encouraging articles on aspects of youthwork practice, of management of learning, people and the church. Not every one will start ‘encouarged by…’ but it might be a good discipline for me to do so. For those that know me, and have read some of my previous pieces, … Continue reading Being Encouraged by Collaboration

Into 2017; Replacing fallen Heroes with Theodrammatic Saints

2016 saw the loss of many heroes. Bowie, George Michael, Prince to name but three from the Music world, Victoria Wood, Liz Smith and Terry Wogan to name three from entertainment, but there were countless others. Local heroes were lost too, people who became national heroes through their death than their life, Jo Cox being one. People, like these and others are placed in the … Continue reading Into 2017; Replacing fallen Heroes with Theodrammatic Saints

What motivates a young person to stay in the youth ministry & the church?

Quite a few years ago now I was involved in a Mentoring Project in Scotland, I am involved in one now at DYFC but just the managing of it. One of the key aspects of the mentoring work, and it was largely short term relationships in which my role was to mentor a young person, often referred by a school, was to try and set … Continue reading What motivates a young person to stay in the youth ministry & the church?

How might churches develop loving community work?

In my last post i made a simple point that, in a way, in mission the songs of the church matter little (though at times sadly we, and i mean we , the church place alot of emphasis on the relevancy or contemporaryness of music/singing as mission imperative) , and that our love for a community matters so much more.  Having been challenged to think about what this … Continue reading How might churches develop loving community work?

The songs don’t matter, love does. 

In the church we’ve believed a bit of a myth for the last 50 odd years. That the way we sing on a Sunday matters. So pews have been removed, guitars have been inserted, projectors included, songs shortened, shortened in their lifespans. The myth is that how the church sings affects our effectiveness in mission as a church. It doesn’t. The only people who this … Continue reading The songs don’t matter, love does. 

Detached youthwork as a community building exercise

Earlier this week i wrote a short piece that held a mirror on the faith organisation of the church to the comparison of ‘the community’ in Cormac Russells blog on the nuture development site, this article is here:  http://wp.me/p2Az40-E6. I notice that on the same Nurture development site, Shaun Bartlett has written a sequel, titled ‘building bridges or walls’ – this is here, and worth a … Continue reading Detached youthwork as a community building exercise