#NYMW19 – A weekend of great conversations – but which important questions does youth ministry need to ask?

Its almost 48 hours exactly since I got back from Youthscapes (www.youthscape.co.uk)  National Youth Ministry weekend and so I thought I would put pen to paper on a few reflections from it, with a few added and notable caveats. The first is that this was the first time I had attended an English Youth Ministry conference. yup. Well aside from YFC’s own staff jamboree, my … Continue reading #NYMW19 – A weekend of great conversations – but which important questions does youth ministry need to ask?

‘But when did we see you?’ A sermon for poverty Sunday

For those of you who are interested here is a summary of the sermon that I preached this morning at St Aidans Church, Chilton, County Durham, as part of poverty Sunday: (and yes it was a bit longer than 7 minutes) Good morning all, today we are going to look at poverty, and thank you for inviting me to share with you, I hope to … Continue reading ‘But when did we see you?’ A sermon for poverty Sunday

What makes a good conversation with young people?

In the past I have given many hints and tips on how to have a good conversation with young people, I have also reflected sociologically and theologically about conversations, and suggested ways of valuing them (Ie ensure they feature in review sheets) but I wonder; ‘What makes a good conversation?’ Think about for a moment, whether you were in a pub, a coffee shop, in … Continue reading What makes a good conversation with young people?

Detached youthwork- An A-Z Guide

I have written a number of pieces on detached youthwork, most of which are on the archives on my http://www.jamesballantyneyouthworker.wordpress.com site , many top tips, top tens, and pieces on specific issues. But I have never tried to write an A-Z, and do so with the aim of collating a definitive guide to detached youthwork.  So, at the beginning of 2019, I have tried, with … Continue reading Detached youthwork- An A-Z Guide

Church; Be thankful that being young and trendy isnt the starting point to developing good youth work

Which is quite a relief. Isnt it. The amount of times I hear, ‘but we’re just a bunch of old people, no young people will relate to us’ – or ‘we’re just too different from them’ or ‘we’re too old’  … And it makes me sometimes want to scream. The fact may well be that unless youv’e been blessed with an eternal youth or maybe … Continue reading Church; Be thankful that being young and trendy isnt the starting point to developing good youth work

In Christian youth ministry – is God conversational?

‘Conversation is central to our work as informal educators, yet we often undervalue it’ (Jeffs and Smith, Informal education, 2001, p27) I appreciate sometimes that keeping up with my trains of thought is a little on the random scale. I do sometimes think I say the same things over and over again, on other occasions I jump from one serious topic to another without too much … Continue reading In Christian youth ministry – is God conversational?

10 tips on starting and developing conversations with young people in the youth club

In my recent piece I wrote about how good conversations with young people turn an activity venue into a space of youthwork. Maybe this is a stark claim to a degree, and usually one of the more difficult aspects of working with young people, and frequently asked questions to me is ‘How to developing the conversations?’ , and often that issue resides in us, ie … Continue reading 10 tips on starting and developing conversations with young people in the youth club

Whats the point of youth work?

A pretty easy to answer question- isnt it? However, I was asked to do a 5 minute presentation on this question, and could have probably expanded it to a 150 credit module length of study. I imagine, knowing what the point of youthwork is is worth knowing so we know how to justify it and plead for its continuation. Here is what i think the … Continue reading Whats the point of youth work?

‘No ones ever given me Mission training before’; Should mission training be for everyone in church?

No ones ever trained me for Mission before, I have just asked to bring friends to event, or its been assumed i know what to do This was a comment I heard when I was delivering a session of detached youthwork training to a group of volunteers in a church setting a few years ago, and it has stuck with me. This was a person … Continue reading ‘No ones ever given me Mission training before’; Should mission training be for everyone in church?

After Gaza; What happened when Philip returned from the desert?

What if Acts chapter 8, had a longer ending? Have you ever wondered what happened when Philip returned from the desert and back to the other disciples? Well wonder not, here is one version, scribed from nothing other than my weird imagination; Surprisingly, the Spirit of the Lord lifted Philip from the desert plain, straight into the meeting of the apostles in eastern Samaria that … Continue reading After Gaza; What happened when Philip returned from the desert?