‘At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened.’ (Matthew 27:51) At that moment the curtain was torn, in two, from top to bottom. For so long the desire for the curtain to be torn open has been from bottom to top. The challenge upwards. But … Continue reading The curtain torn, like never before
What do churches mean when the job advert says ‘pioneering & creative’ – has someone before ran out of ideas? – and its a new idea that is always required? My previous post exposed the frequency in which youth ministry adverts require someone to have innovation and creativity within their personality and skill set. It has been quite a well read piece, with a number … Continue reading Does Youth ministry need to stop trying to be innovative?
There is a stark reality to be had. Most churches in the UK are not places where there are many young people, and this appears to be an issue. An issue so much that ‘young people’ is a strategy for some dioceses, and also probably part of the motivation for the Church of England recruiting and appointing a youth evangelist in the last 2 years. … Continue reading How should a church start working with young people? (pioneering advice from 15 youthworkers)
A few weeks ago I penned a piece that began with Peter Oulds assertion that ‘Evangelicals need a better story’ in regard to how situations of LGBT are dealt with, and the piece ended with my own story of growing up evangelical, and the predominant silence on the issue, a silence which meant that as a young person I had no way of assessing the … Continue reading LGBT and the Christian Story (Part 2) – Might drama make for a better evangelical story?
Recently I was in a conversation with someone who was asking about my working experiences (no it wasn’t a job interview), and having talked a little about my experiences in working in a call centre, then making the leap to begin youthwork and theology training, I then mentioned that I have been involved in detached youthwork for the best part of the last 12 years, … Continue reading 10 threats and opportunities for churches as posed by Detached youth work
One of the Key stereotypes of a youth worker is their underpreparedness. Turning up late for meetings, with no notes. Planning the youth group on the way there in the car, so that no one knows whats going on. In the following video, there are a number of youth worker stereotypes, the ‘tardy’ youth worker is often the one that most people relate to. On … Continue reading Learning to improvise within Christian Youth work & Ministry.
Much is made of Stories in youth Ministry. Lets get it out there. Stories communicate a message through appealing to imaginations. We connect with character, with script and with narrative arc. Jesus told stories. Story telling is key in the communication of the Gospel, often stories illuminate when proposition disengages. From a theological and philosophical perspective Paul Ricoeur, the french philosopher, is credited with bringing … Continue reading Thinking theologically about youth ministry – does a 3 way Drama help?
“We need to do (insert ministry here) because that works with young people” or the more precious statement: “Show me where this works” The search for the silver bullet to solve the problem that young people cause adult society continues. Disruptive young people ‘are given interventions’ , young people who dont attend church are ‘engaged with’ . But more specifically, schemes, initiatives, projects and services are realised. … Continue reading Why ‘what works’ shouldn’t be our motivation for mission with young people
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.
“Improvising seems dangerous because it requires participants to make use of their unconscious” (Samuel Wells) In a recent study on the types of churches that engage and keep young people/adults, the Fuller Institute, discovered that the places where young people were most likely to stay were places of good emotional health. Their report is referred to here: http://wp.me/p2Az40-NP , and in pre-empting a future article I … Continue reading Creating safe stages for Improvised youthwork