Harnessing the power of young peoples ideas; the future of youth ministry? 

What if the role of the youth worker was to harness the power of the young persons ideas? Whenever there’s discussions about young adults conceptually we might put them in sociological context, as teenagers or adolescents, in a victim or voiceless context such as ‘youth crime’ and innocent/precious context ‘young love’ . Two others are young people as deficit, somehow distinct from society (as determined … Continue reading Harnessing the power of young peoples ideas; the future of 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

How spiritual are young people on the streets?

I have spent the evening putting together some slides for a training session I am leading tomorrow with a group of detached workers in Newcastle. One of the topics they would like me to cover is that of ‘developing spirituality with young people during street based work. A few years ago i posted the following article ‘The Street as a context for Theology -which was … Continue reading How spiritual are young people on the streets?

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. 

Are young people more perceptive than we realise?

About 10 years ago I was asked to help out with a friends research on their MA course. Ill keep it a little confidential, but the remit in the task was to prepare a session in 30 minutes or so with a group of young people in a room, whom I had never met beforehand.  There was no inclination of theme, of age of the … Continue reading Are young people more perceptive than we realise?

Conversations on the streets – 4 things to say to young people (and maybe 4 not to)

In an article in Youthwork Magazine, Ali Campbell describes how as youthworkers (he is writing to the faith based youthworkers) should where appropriate say the following things to young people: I Believe in You I dont know You are loved and forgiven What do you think? The full article is here: Youthwork Magazine. Give it a read, it is well worth it. For me, theres a couple of … Continue reading Conversations on the streets – 4 things to say to young people (and maybe 4 not to)

Detached youthwork: Having faith conversations on the streets.

Its one of the main criticisms levelled at detached youthwork from the ‘established’ christian community, or its youth worker contingency – ‘all that detached work is ‘good’ stuff, but when does it produce/become orientated around faith? ‘  and it is a valid question, it has to be a valid question as it gets asked often enough. Behind the question might be the drive that everything … Continue reading Detached youthwork: Having faith conversations on the streets.

#gb16, #notgb16 & following conferences via Social Media

This weekend its Greenbelt or #gb16 as its known, for those of us at the alternative Greenbelt its the #notgb16 festival, where we can through the virtue of twitter receive in our timeline – and retweeted by other attendees, snippets and highlights of the inspiration they have from the conference halls, tents and stages of the weekend. Its the same for all of the conferences … Continue reading #gb16, #notgb16 & following conferences via Social Media

The church as interactive community theatre: creating places of conversations

“Each conversation is like a small piece of Theatre” (Wardheugh, in Smith H, 2010) “Dialogue creates a critical attitude, it is nourished by love, humility, hope, faith and trust. When the two poles of the dialogue are thus linked by love, hope and mutual trust, they can join in a critical search for something. Only dialogue communicates” (Freire 1974, p42) Creating the right kind of … Continue reading The church as interactive community theatre: creating places of conversations

Detached youthwork and pokemon go!

Whoo hoo! Young people are not inside playing on xboxes! !! They’re now outside wondering around wiggling their phones around, meeting at points and buildings finding pokemons and spots. Collecting items and having battles, and playing Pokemon Go! a game that is using the public space as the landscape for a series of challenges and interactions. At least they’re outside. So, what to do on … Continue reading Detached youthwork and pokemon go!