If you thought teachers were disappearing, try finding a youthworker

The BBC today ran this piece: England’s schools face ‘severe’ teacher shortage with the full text being found if you click the link. Some of the headlines include that In poorer areas outside London, 17% of physics teachers have a relevant degree – compared with 52% in affluent areas in the rest of the country. There are particular geographical cold spots, where schools are rated … Continue reading If you thought teachers were disappearing, try finding a youthworker

Even Americans are saying programmable youth ministry is broken…reviewing an evening with Kenda Creasy Dean. 

But fortunately in the UK the answer is close to hand.  I have just arrived back from an evening with Kenda Creasy Dean in Leeds, (hosted by the Yorkshire plus region of the Methodist church). Kenda is an American youth ministry specialist, writer and academic. It was probably the first time I have heard directly from an American youth ministry person and an academic at … Continue reading Even Americans are saying programmable youth ministry is broken…reviewing an evening with Kenda Creasy Dean. 

From churches of praise & protest to churches that engage and educate. 

Youth Clubs, Community Centres, Pubs, Clubs, Parks, Libraries – all closed, reduced or only provide targetted services in the last 7 years.  If im being generous I would say that all of these spaces were spaces of gathering for people not just in families, but across families, where young people held discussions with youth workers, where exchange of opinions occurs in the community centres, and … Continue reading From churches of praise & protest to churches that engage and educate. 

For detached – why context matters

For 10 years now I’ve been involved in delivering detached youthwork in a number of settings, and not just city, rural and suburb, but also neutral space, community , school and college. For me the two key factors that enable quality conversations to happen are the following; A. The geographical distance from adults who control the space, and B. The  Aims and intentions of the … Continue reading For detached – why context matters

What game should the Church play, if its in a relegation scrap?

“Changing our world depends on changing our hearts, how we perceive, name and act in the world” (Labberton, 2010;23) It’s that time of the football season. Sir Alex Ferguson called it squeaky bum time, but that was when for him and the Man Utd team he managed were fighting for the Premier league title. A trophy and a title at stake. Though as any sportperson … Continue reading What game should the Church play, if its in a relegation scrap?

Creating a national approach to disciple the high hanging fruit

There was some high hanging fruit on my apple tree this year that was a nightmare to reach. Even more so in that not far from our apple tree a bramble branch and rose branch draped across. So not only were the apples out of reach from me standing on my ladder, there’d be considerable pain trying to get close to them . The low … Continue reading Creating a national approach to disciple the high hanging fruit

Gift Encouraging Youthwork

Last week I had the undoubted please of having Lunch with Mike Mather, a Methodist Pastor from Indianapolis, USA. Beforehand I had read the article about the way in which his church community had shifted its focus, largely from focussing on community needs (and acting to serve) to recognising the gifts in the community (and seeking to encourage), in terms of approaches, shifting from needs focussed … Continue reading Gift Encouraging Youthwork