8 ways of valuing your youthworker – because, they could be the last your church employs

Lets put a few things into context. The current situation regarding the pay, the training of, and also the sustainability of youthworkers in churches at the moment makes for pretty challenging reading.

It is worth noting, positively that churches who employ youthworkers are more likely to have less young people leave, and if anything do increase their sunday attendances, especially if the youthworker is employed for longer than 3-4 years.

Peter Brierely summarises a report, on ‘have paid youthworkers worked’ by stating

This article was requested asking the question whether paid Youth Workers had proved successful. The answer is positive, but with the recognition that they can’t do everything, and some continuing loss is likely to happen even if a church has a paid Youth Worker (but the loss would likely be greater if the Youth Worker was not present). The same is true for paid Children’s Workers, which suggests that these relatively new types of employment will continue to be needed in churches as the century progresses.
The analysis has also revealed, however, the enormous losses in church attendance being seen at later ages,especially among folk in their 20s, and those aged 45 to 64,the Boomer Generation. Some churches are seeking to offset this by employing Family Workers. The analysis also shows that while volunteers will always be needed, more and more professional staff will be required if church attendance is not to drop even more drastically in the days ahead

The full article is here, one of a number of reports (http://www.brierleyconsultancy.com/where-is-the-church-going/)church12.png

So, there we have it, from the master church statistician himself, churches that dont employ a youthworker are likely to lose young people at a greater rate than those who dont. What i wanted to discover from the article, which wasnt there was quite how many youthworkers the UK church was employing at that time, Peter Brierely is merely looking at church attendance overall at a time when uk churches were employing youthworkers, rather than looking at the precise numbers. So, no official data, by the master statistician himself about the number of UK nhou.

In Danny Brierleys ‘ Joined up’ in 2003, he suggests that in 1998, there was data showing that the Church in the UK was employing 7,900 (seven thousand nine hundred!) Full time paid youth workers. Wow. Stating that the church was now the largest employer of youthworkers in the country (if the church was one organisation)

Fast forward to 2018.

Even though there is still data (here is the anecdote to evidence findings that suggests that youthworkers make a difference) – This reality has not been matched in the number of employed roles in the uk church, neither in the investment of programmes to educate and train, or systematic diocese level employment stuctures, pay and welfare. The drip drip feed of youthworkers leaving the church has been significant and predictable, to the green grass and security (and housing) of parachurch, mission organisation or ordained ministry

In my recent voluntary research, conducted via this site and social media, I circulated a map, to which youthworkers in the UK who were employed by a single church could plot themselves. To date, the map here   has only 300 pins on it. I realise that there will be some deanery, or multi church youthworkers (though theres less than 50 so far on that map). Even if these maps are out by 1/2 – that means that there might only be 700 employed youthworkers in UK churches. Thats potentially a huge reduction in the 7,900 of 1998. (Please do add yourself if you’re not on either)

So, this was a long way of saying.

If you think you might just be able to replace the youthworker you have got, because you dont like them, then I would think again. I would think again, because, in the long run, a church with a youthworker who has been there a while, is likely to help with increasing the attendance (not that this is the only benefit of them), but also that it might be a while before another youthworker might jump into the same role. The stops might need to be pulled out to try and keep them.

It would be easy to talk about salaries, housing, and the financial cost/value of a paid youthworker, a discussion on finances is ongoing at the moment, and yes, a salary without a house for a youthworker will look vastly different, and have different expectations on it depending on the area. If an area is so expensive that living near the church might only be afforded in a one bedroom flat, then guess what, an experienced, qualified, married youthworker isnt going to head too close, at least not without other financial investments or income. There are less college course in the UK, and so new students entering the field (having heard or seen many of the difficult stories of the past) are less. The jobs however are staying vacant .

In a way, though, most of us youthworkers dont do any of what we do for money. But the security and less stress of being able to afford and live in an area does go a long, no long long way. Its not salary necessarily that would cause a youthworker to leave. It is more likely to be the politics of the church, and how they are managed, and what expectations there are on them, this was the findings from Simon Davies in ‘The Management of Faith Based workers’ in Jon Ords book ‘Critical Issues in Youth work management, (2012)

stating that

the reasons frequently cited for youth workers considering giving up were not the young people, but the organised context of the work, and lack of understanding of their role as the main contributers. They also cited good supervision*, supportive colleagues and a sense of personal fulfillment as things that kept them motivated

and going on to say that

the demands placed on christian youth workers by the expectations of the church, are pressurized and lead to stress, isolation, exhaustion and emotional exhaustion

Though given the state of some clergy at the moment, some of this sentiment could also apply. Tragically. (* see the above menu if you would like to hire me for supervision)

The reality might be that the youthworker who is currently employed in your church, might well be your last. So, what can you do as a church community to value them, and make better use of them (and not just the clergy, as they also have their own responsibilities, especially supervision and line management -an issue discusses at length on this blog- see the first of 4 pieces here – we need to talk about clergy and youthworker line management).  I asked a number of people on social media, clergy and youthworkers alike the following question:

What one thing could a church or diocese do, to make better use of their paid youthworkers? 

Because the stories of youthworkers also being the photocopier, the toddlers leader, the caretaker, the deputy vicar on the vicars day off, are sadly endless and too timeconsuming to dwell on, often in the ‘other duties’ part of a job description. As Naomi Thompson suggested, it can too often be the case that the church employs the youthworker just to get on with it alone, or payment by results. So, it is better then, to ask the positive question – how might a church make better use of a youthworker? (especially if trying to keep them is essential) 

Here are the responses from the question

  • Don’t employ them for expertise then tell them what they should do. When things fail don’t criticise but love them and encourage them. Protect them from criticising members of the congregation. Give them paid opportunities to connect with other pros
  • Equip, teach, train their church Leaders/pastors to see the young people and therefore the workers as central to the church therefore involving them in every aspect and at all levels
  • Encourage partnership working between churches
  • Guess you could add, don’t expect them to do it all. Give them a clear day off and acknowledge that any time where they are in church contact is counted as work time. Like ministers, prayer is also work, so give them time for it.  
  • Offer opportunities for CPD and not just to be ordained.
  • Listen to them properly & take their expertise seriously.
  • Provide access to administrative support. Fund CPD. Allow and fund retreats/quiet days/sabbaticals.
  • Give them influence in leadership roles -or find ways in which young people can be in these roles (with the youthworkers support if needed)

(thank you to all who contributed, you know who you are, your ideas much appreciated)

Some churches might already be doing some of these things, and creating an environment for a youthworker to feel valued, not without challenges or problems to overcome, come on, lets not make things completely easy for them, but as congregations, and clergy, are these things possible in creating a positive space, and encouraging a youthworker in their role in the local church. If we can make better use of them, especially their passion, their exprience, their approach, knowledge and discernment regarding local mission and community – then this might be also of benefit to the churches as well. And if a youthworker feels and is valued, then there likely to stay , and if a youthworker is likely to stay….then you dont need to think about replacing them, if that option exists, neither do you have upset young people who have connected with them, and you might have the beginnings of a church that is starting to grow. just might.

Value the youthworker, value the church? maybe.



Brierley, Danny 2003 Joined Up

Ord, Jon, Critical issues in Youthwork Management, 2011

Jon Jolly, Christian Youthwork motive and method, in Youth work and Faith, by Smith, N Thompson (Stanton) and Wylie (2015)

Thompson, Naomi, Young people and the church since 1900, 2018



The not so hidden problem of longevity in youth ministry

Imagine the scenario, as a young person you’ve loved the time you’ve been able to spend with your youth leader, they’ve entertained, taken you on residentials, had great conversations, listened to you, developed your talents, pushed you to do things and really been one of the key main influences in your life. It’s been amazing for you to have had a youth leader like them.

And what better option for you as a young person who has benefitted immensely from the efforts, personality and ministry of a youth leader in your local church, than for you to think then about becoming a youth leader yourself!  So, you check out the options post school, or post Uni even and decide to find an accredited course. Especially as during the time you were volunteering through uni you realise that people actually got paid for being youth leaders, and discovered that you needed an accreditation or a theology degree, or a youthwork degree to do it (and youth work degrees or theology degrees tend to be on a bypass from the average careers adviser) – So you pack up your graduate bags from one college, and head to another to do a post grad, or an undergrad in youth work finally heading towards the dream, the place in your heart you have always wanted to and felt called to be… a youth minister.

You graduate, you get a load of experience doing placements, you hone your reflective skills, theological underpinnings, group work resources, management and supervision skills, and develop a nuanced theory of adolescence and faith. All ready for the big wide world of the church based youth ministry position. Your faith, your practice, your time and your finances have been sorely tested. But you’re ready. Ready to fulfil the great calling set in you since your own teenage years.. but there’s one more step to go- Where next…?

So you hit the Premier Youth Work Magazine back pages. (the almost only bit everyone reads)

You Find a job and a church, you pack your bags again.

You fly and interview, move into the area, meet lots of people and start in the role. But theres a problem..

Becuase – whilst everyone in the church is happy for you to be there, there are some that only compare you to someone who used to be, someone whose photo is still on theministryy team photo, even though they left the summer before.

The young people sometimes mistakenly call you ‘ the new Scott’ (the previous person was called scott)

The Minister in the church who was keen to appoint you has decided to leave the church before christmas.

Some of your best ideas, Scott used to do, and the young people love playing the games he did.

The young people loved Scott, he was their first youthworker.

Your ministry might only be in the shadow of someone elses, and because of all the emotions involved, and deep connections this is going to be difficult.

However, as time goes by, your patience wears off and the young people grow to respect you, spend time with you and you start to develop groups, ministries, connections with schools, and things start to build.

Even though you didnt get a great honey moon period, the first year goes ok.

Then the new minister arrives.

And you dont get on. His dreams and approaches to ministry are different to yours, but somehow now the same as the congregation. He also line manages you. This becomes difficult.

Though he lets you get on with it, in his style, he becomes quick to try and influence, correct and criticise, giving you no back up as the other employed person in the church, in public in meetings.

Your writing is on the wall, your training didnt prepare you for the shift that a church could take when this kind of change could happen. Your ministry, and dedication to a career is in jeopardy, so is he reality of the house you have just bought in the area. Maybe you have to think about moving on, bu after this experience – do you think twice about working for a church again? You might do, and though this exact scenario didnt happen to me, shifting to the outside of churches in faith organisations can seem a grass greener thought.

Though this overall scenario is probably an extreme situation. What isnt is that there is a myth that is circulated that the average longevity of a youth minister in a single church setting is between one and a half and 3 years. And this is usually attributed to the following factors:

a) Burnout – doing too much- caused by excessive stress – do they have someone to help them give their life balance? 

b) running out of ideas – all the best are used up in 18 months – the warning signs are how soon you’re grabbing youthwork magazine for ideas…

c) a breakdown in relationship between the church leadership and the youthworker – where do they go to get help with dealing with this kind of thing? 

d) a non existenct managerial or/and supervision relationship between the church leadership and a youthworker ( see Davies 2012, in Ord 2012)  (see previous articles on managing a youthworker here: http://wp.me/p2Az40-eO)

e) Ending of funding for the role, (or end of contract)  Its one of the first to go if a church becomes financially struggling.

There are a few others.

But shouldnt it be shocking that someone who invests so much into being trained and commissioned into a vocation can be treated so badly in a church setting?  And have their ministry curtailed in less than 3 years?

Yes, not every youth minister is whiter than white – maybe the post academic professionals expect too much- but still. The emotional, spiritual and physical effect of a bad experience of ministry can be truly awful, and those who stick it out for the long haul – beyond 5-6 years in a church deserve huge medals.

But to the others whose enthusiasm, desire and vocations have been cut short by bad experiences the youthwork world is with you.

Does the system need changing? Yes.

Can the systematic, affiliation or regional approach to employing a youthworker in a church change? Not sure – who can actualize this…

who does all this affect? where do we start..

Whether or not Youth Ministry and employing a professional is the best route for you as a church is debatable (see my previous articles http://wp.me/p2Az40-xp and http://wp.me/p2Az40-eU) But even so – please do consider them as whole people in the local collaborative ministry of the church, arrange for good management, supervision to give them ideas and time to try new approaches and ideas. Beyond 3-4 years, with good finances in place, youthworkers might stay a lot longer. Only if you stop asking them when theyre going to get a proper job…

Beyond 3-4 years, with good finances in place, youthworkers might stay a lot longer. Only if you stop asking them when theyre going to get a proper job…


Investing in volunteers is better that employing a professional youthworker

Yesterday i wrote a piece about what a church needs to do, if they were thinking about employing a youthworker as a member of staff within a church, to help with the designated need and work required. However, during today i have realised that this is a luxury that many churches have absolutely no hope of even thinking of, given tight resources and budgets. Having no young people is not an excuse however, as id argue that a youthworker should be employed to do mission work in a local community amongst young people whom the church doesnt yet know in a pioneering way, more so than in situations where their role is almost solely within a church & groups setting. But thats another discussion. So if its resources that prevent you from being able to employ a youthworker, or some other reason, then there are a number of alternatives open to you, that as a church should be done and are probably being done, with a few hints & tips that might be of use.

  1. Invest in current volunteers by giving good supervision, training and opportunities for challenge, growth and reflection. In effect disciple them in their current roles. If you have no volunteers- see point 9.
  2. Develop opportunities for training for current volunteers, like a rat in London, you’re probably not more than 10 miles from an unemployed or youth worker in need of a small extra job to deliver some training for your volunteers.  In house training in the context is ALWAYS more beneficial than sending volunteers to conferences, dont believe the hype about conferences. Get training you need specific to you and ask a youth worker about what they can offer, many should be able to lead sessions on group work & dynamics, ways of using the bible, reflection, conversations, young peoples issues. Yes you might have to pay for a days training, but itll be worth it. and more value for money than most conferences. and specific.
  3. Use some of the latest books on youth work & youth ministry as study materials in home groups for the leaders, yes its not the Bible – but neither were Nooma DVDs. As a start, ‘the art of youthwork’ by Kerry young, or ‘youthwork and the mission of God’ by Pete Ward are accessible and informative.
  4. Use the resources available from affiliation staff, Diocesan youth advisers those sorts of people.
  5. Facilitate ideas and vision days for the work with young people, and again arrange for someone to help you with that.
  6. Develop leadership skills with the children and young people so that they take on responsibility and decision making as part of the groups, as part of their discipleship – surely you dont need a youthworker to do that..
  7. You may be able to find a year out type youth worker locally depending if an organisation locally has them, but be aware they often take as much managing and will arrive with little training (regardless of what the leaders tell you) and may take a while to fit in. They also usually leave after less than a year. (this isnt the time to do a pros-cons of gap years, but getting ‘one’ is no walk in the park, but its an option)
  8. A similar option might be a placement student from one of the few university courses doing christian youthwork/ministry. This will depend on your location, and on resources again, its an option. You could ‘share’ a student with another local church, again an option.
  9. You, if you’re clergy reading this, might have to lead in discipling the young people, and thats maybe not your calling, but if taking a lead disciple role in discipling others isnt the role of clergy..? Maybe the young people currently in the church are too important to not be given the professional spiritual guidance that you are equipped to offer. For their sake, building a supportive relationship with a member of the clergy might have a much more significant impact on them, than effectively outsourcing it to dare i say it ‘ a youthworker’ or a one year gap yr student. There’s plenty of help around if you want it, see points above.

Sometimes the best option isnt to get the external person in, invest in who you have already. Especially as these people might be less likely to leave, and be able to support the young people for longer. It’s then about finding ways and approaches of working that enable both the volunteers and young people to be discipled. It’s not about running groups, but about discipling young people, so find ways that work. If its movie & sports nights with prayer, bible chat and lighting candles, then do this. And not unlike the

And not unlike the emmaus road, sometimes joining them in that discipleship, and other times be prepared to allow them to walk alone to discuss, think and reflect, question and react. If the group work model requires too many helpers, then find another one. Be Creative and consult with the young people. Let them lead you in this process.

The alternative to a youth worker, might not be a youth worker at all. it might be a church with a culture that all are disciples with responsibility to disciple everyone else. Young people might not be so different- just need time, space and respect, theyre not so separate or distinctive in any way.



Minimum requirements for employing a church based youth worker

For the local church employing anyone might be something of a daunting task, whether thats a cleaner, an administrator or the organist.

But at least those roles are fairly obvious- and everyone sort of knows what to do, keep things tidy for one, dump things on the desk with a post it note for two, and avoid for the third ( only joking organists!) .  But a  youth worker?  What are they then, and what do they do..?. Oh yes, they work with that strange phenomena called the yoof. The ones who left sunday school three years ago. This is the vicars great master plan to get them back. And because the congregation find the yoof  too challenging, a yoof worker, is what they need, someone pro, someone good.

But if you’re going to employ a youth worker, it’s worth realising that in many situations it’s the relationship between the youth worker, the clergy, and the systems of management (or lack of) in the church that are the main early cause for a youthworker whom is employed to move on, that’s what all the anecdotal and theory suggests (Ord 2012).  So it’s worth thinking about these things first.  As a clergy – as an example; if the last 5 years has caused you to doubt your own faith and calling at the hands of the PCC – is this the right kind of ministry situation for someone whom you are probably going to manage? Or if you are going to be their line manager ( or equivalent) then have you thought about what this might entail?

At the barest minimum the following things are to be thought about before hiring a youthworker:

a) Develop a culture in the church where being seen on a sunday morning is not the key sign of spiritual maturity.

b) Develop spaces in church where people have to explore the deep questions, difficult questions as part of their discipleship and ongoing learning – why ?- because thats the kind of faith exploring that young people will be helped to do with a good youthworker.

c) Decide upon the support structure for the worker, a line manager, professional external support, what kind of supervision will they have,

d) get all the finance ready, so they know what kind of budget there is for them, and this is clear

e) Also be clear in the advertising what kind of role they are to have, and if there are any expectations of the role. Ie – does funding have certain requirements.

f) From Youth Pastors, to youth ministers, youth evangelists, to christian youth & community workers- whilst the terminology might be confusing for you. Be clear in the paperwork, of the job what it is they are to do. Dont glorify it up. Running the youth fellowship, is running the youth fellowship, it isnt ‘developing a regular educative programme for the pioneering discipleship of a small group of emerging adults‘ – its running the YF.

Clarity of the role from the outset will a) attract the right sort of youthworker, and b) help that right sort of youthworker know what to do.

g) Be Clear on what is happening in the local situation. Tell the youth worker the truth. If there are no volunteers, or that the local school have issues with a faith involvement, or there’s been a major incident, or even that things have changed, its worth telling the youth worker who you’re about to employ what the known challenges might be, especially if they’re not the sort of thing that’ll come up in an interview or be asked about.

h) Have good communication throughout the application process, be creative with the interviews – after all if theyre going to work with the young people in the church – who should be involved in choosing them?  (have you even asked the young people whether they would want a youthworker anyway..? -just a thought)

i) A good induction, when they arrive.  So that they know where, who, when, why, and how things happen.

j) Basic stuff like Child protection policies, Risk Assessments, Health & Safety are all taken care of, and that the youthworker is insured for their work in the capacity that it is.

k) Other basic stuff;  a space to work (isnt their home), Laptop, resources, training needs, buildings to use, keys, local stationary company discount.

l) Oh, and that management structure – is that in place yet?  Schedule in meetings and keep them. Maybe have a local support group/ steering group, get these in the diary.

m) How will the youth worker know that they are doing well? – what markers of success do you have for them, their work, and how will that be communicated to them.  A scheduled appraisal maybe?

n) Regular days off for them, off patch. Space to be challenged and reflect, not just a conference, but other opportunities to network, training or retreat.  Communicate the day off to the congregation- surely thats a ‘pain’ you know too!

o) A proper employment contract, that is signed, and agreed.

p) Ensure that they take their holidays.

q) What signs might you pick up if things arent going well? And spot them early? What support might be needed, or professional guidance for the work might be of use at that point?  ask them what they might need to help the situation.

r) Give them space in the ongoing management to tell you about how things are for them, the challenges and struggles, listen, guide and help to create the kind of working atmosphere where you as clergy and they are collaborating on the task of ministry with people, and its not such a separate task.

s) how might the youthworker grow? Not just professionally (training) but also spiritually – will someone disciple them?

As you can tell, these arent just the minimum things. For, if you want to just do the minimum for a youthworker, then what you’re also saying is that the young people in the church, or the young people in the community only deserve the minimum, and of course that isn’t the case is it? Im hoping i havent missed something out… Though neither are these the maximum things either ( for maximum don’t just think finances) If you are opting for the minimum by getting a paid person in and opting for the minimum throughout then this might be worth reflecting on .. for the good of them, of you and also the young people. Better to not recruit at all then make a large mess in the lives of young people , the ministry of a youthworker and your own personal administrative and HR nightmare of having to let someone go.

None of this is a task you need to do alone, help may be at hand from diocesan youth advisers, or others in your affiliation. The key thing to think about is if you attempt to create the right kind of environment for a youthworker in your church , then its more likely that they will do more than just cope being employed by you in your church, they might actually enjoy it and flourish as a person in their faith and vocation too. (and so might the young people)

I have written more on Managing Youthworkers, especially by Clergy, a series of 4 posts starts with this one: ‘We need to talk about clergy & youthworker line management’ (part 1). With further hints, tips and questions to think through.

Employing a youthworker – letter to church congregations

Dear Church congregations,

Heres some handy tips to prepare yourselves if you have the resources and vision and passion for young people and lucky enough to appoint a youthworker.

Given that theres not many to go around nowadays, that a few Christian youthwork training courses have closed recently, a quick scan of youthwork magazine, Facebook and twitter might reveal an increased number of roles required, but less youthworkers availible to fill them. So, if your church is looking to employ a youth worker, whether for young adults you already know as a church, or the young adults and their families whom you don’t know yet, then i would suggest that at some point in the process of seeking this appointment that you consider the following (in no particular order);

  1. Get the administration right! – nothing worse than being a youthworker in a new role and having to ask about the admin – such as payroll, insurance, tax or expenses – or at least have to create the processes for these things in an organisation that might be new. Have the roles for DBS, & pay designated.
  2. Have some knowledge about the role of the youthworker, their training, motivations and influences, so that you might be able to encourage them in the way in which they might be shaping the practice of youthwork once they start
  3. Think carefully about the management structure, who they report to, how they report, and how the congregation feed into this and receive from the youthworker in terms of communication & progress. Give them a line manager who has time and keen to learn about managing a youthworker, not just the most obvious person, the vicar.
  4. Give the youthworker a honeymoon period in which their new ideas are encouraged, and that phrases like “the previous youthworker/in the 1970/80/90’s we did it this way” are reduced, actually any sentence that includes the terms ‘did it this way’ or ‘we used to..’ should be banned full stop.  This is known as England football manager syndrome.
  5. Consider that if the youthwork is so difficult that you have chosen to appoint a professional, giving them too much advice on the way they are doing things would seem to be at odds with how difficult you think it actually is.
  6. Dont think that you cant be a volunteer and help them because of your age. If you want to be a volunteer just ask.
  7. If you’re appointing a youthworker and the work is not already occurring doing the work, and have no idea who the volunteers might be, id advise you not to employ someone in the first place.
  8. Enable them to have someone to help them continue to think professionally and reflectively about their practice – whether another youthworker locally. They will really appreciate this, especially if they are the only youthworker in the church or with the closure of youth centres the only youthworker for 15-20 miles.
  9. Allow them to ask questions and be critical, they might only be asking questions that the young people might be asking too. Trust them with new ways, after all thats why you’ve employed a thinking professional youthworker.
  10. Avoid using numerical terms to measure the success of anything the youthworker does. Even if it seems the easiest thing to do. Most youthworkers hate numbers as success. If your youthworker plays the numbers game, they’re less of a youthworker than they think they are or they might just be trying to play the church numbers game. Its probably a youth pastor dressed up in youth work clothing.
  11. Feed them regularly, and get to know them.
  12. Give them contacts and networks of people locally, especially important people in the community such as schools, police, other agencies.
  13. Join in with their work, join in the ride and the life of the young adults, show empathy.
  14. Allocate funding for their role so that they dont have to worry about more than a year in advance. Pay them well, appraise them, and give them positive feedback, based on what has gone well, the details, not just attendance figures.
  15. Give them chances & opportunities to grow, have responsibility, be part of ministry teams.
  16. Make sure they’re not over worked, or have their hours full in the first 6 months. Where is the growth room?
  17. Give them time off at Christmas, especially if theyre 100’s of miles from their family.
  18. Of course theyll want a laptop and phone. And an office/desk.
  19. Theyd really love a budget for networking and coffees out. This is important for them.
  20. Think ahead, and how to get things right when things might not be going well – do you have policies in place for grievance, code of conduct & accountability?

If they are properly supervised, managed & administered, and that the whole church is behind the appointment (and its not just the leaders, or a visionary) and that their role is made clear from the outset, and so when they take up the post they know what to expect- these would be the main structural aspects to get right and ensure some smooth introductions and inductions (oh yes give them a good induction). The rest is left to how they integrate into your faith community, and integrate with young adults in your faith community, and how other young people might become as integrated too.

Treasure your new youthworker, if you do that, theyll hopefully stay for a long time, and if they do that itll be far more beneficial to the young people you value enough to invest in a youthworker in the first place.