How should a church start working with young people? (pioneering advice from 15 youthworkers)

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)

Why Evensong vs Guitars misses the point, in regard to young people and church.

How much is relevancy the reason why young people attend church? If its about relevancy – then what does this say about what we think about young people? just carried along by a crest of a wave, but what If, and I realise only readers of a certain age will get this , that young people are thinking, ‘So you have a guitar band- that … Continue reading Why Evensong vs Guitars misses the point, in regard to young people and church.

How will we find the good in youth ministry, if we don’t even look for it?

Oh well at least no one died tonight.  This can often be the mantra at the end of a crazy out work session. But its not setting the bar very high in regard to evaluating or reviewing a session. Duffy Robbins in a piece on Youthwork Magazine 12 years ago wrote a piece on evaluating youth ministry, describing how for some volunteers, a good youth … Continue reading How will we find the good in youth ministry, if we don’t even look for it?

FYT Streetspace Gathering 2018; feeling the movement

The pressure was on. After raving about it every year, writing blog pieces on it each year (including this post, my second most popular in 2017), This year, I, as part of the staff team was part responsible for planning the FYT Streetspace gathering, The national gathering of pioneer youthworkers. The pressure to make it work, or make it better, or make it more original, … Continue reading FYT Streetspace Gathering 2018; feeling the movement

Is our concept of participation, in youth ministry, too small?

Why is it that young people are often involved in committees at schools, as young as primary school, given responsibility in ‘anti-bullying’ campaigns, tasked with being peer mentors, and encouraged to have their view on school councils within school – and yet in churches they’re often just given a picture to colour in and an activity to do?  Thats a statement I say alot. And … Continue reading Is our concept of participation, in youth ministry, too small?

In a digital culture, is youthwork stuck in the dark ages?

‘The days are gone where youd just pull up a pool table and have this kind of open space where there was chaos’ This was a reflection to me, from a community member, recently when talking about young people in a community in the north east. In a way, i could see the persons point, in a ‘digital age’ what point would table tennis be … Continue reading In a digital culture, is youthwork stuck in the dark ages?

Millenials dont want a youthful church – they want one that meaningfully performs the gospel

I am nearly 40 and i still keep going to church. Just. So, I am not a ‘millenial’ that has left, yet I grew up evangelical, and often find myself growing out of love with the church. And I have tried a number of different ones. Some try the intentional youthful approach, trying to stay young and full of students (and this keeps the cycle … Continue reading Millenials dont want a youthful church – they want one that meaningfully performs the gospel

Have churches embraced youthfulness – but given up on young people?

This is one of the key premises of Andrew Roots book, Faith Formation in a secular age in which he suggests that one of the key reasons that churches, from an american protestant perspective (and he makes this point clear), are obsessed with involving young people is that a youthful church, is also, in an age of authenticity, an authentic church. Root makes a coherent … Continue reading Have churches embraced youthfulness – but given up on young people?

If discipleship is about participation, then why is this an issue in churches?

‘To show just how much this church values young people – we’ve appointed a youthworker!’ ‘to all young people of _____ area, the adults from ______ church/ministry are putting on an evening entertainment in a building you’ve never been before and involving people you’ve never heard of but we know them, and please if you can bring a friend too’ ‘ we had a successful … Continue reading If discipleship is about participation, then why is this an issue in churches?

‘What role do young people play in your church/youth group?’

Often we hear that ‘young people are to play a role in the church’ – or the more than often suggested recommendation that ‘young people are the future of the church’ . But have we ever stopped to think about what kind of role young people currently play – and more to the point – what role they should play? It a simple question – … Continue reading ‘What role do young people play in your church/youth group?’