Why do we do this?

I’m part of the team at a Statutory Youth Club once a week. Last night we had a good session …. numbers were good, several of the young people that we have worked with over the summer seemed to have really developed and become more a part of things than railing against them. We got a badminton competiton going, one worker did some great discussion stuff based on a questionaire, Hamma beads mats were being created. Fab!
BUT
For some reason they kicked off completely in the last fifteen minutes. Some of them becoming abusive, obstructive and a major handful. Hey ho, chaos central!
One of the workers was left asking
Why do we do this?”
I’m hoping to catch up with him this week to chat it through but it left interesting questions for me as to the differences and the similarities between Christian based youth work and its statutory cousin!
But the “Why do we do this?” moments as an emotionally exhausted response is common to both statutory and faith based workers when the work is with challenging young people.
It throws us back to our motivation, our hope and our belief that we can help young people. I reckon it’s Faith thats the key.
Faith that we can make a difference
Faith that the young person can grow and develop
But most of all
Faith that God is in the buiness of change, growth, grace and love, Faith that with God all things are possible.
There is no such thing as difficult person
just difficult behaviour
” Pip Wilson
Filing this under “Non coherent but helpful to me posts”

Full Timers Network

One of the things that I do as the Diocesan Youth Adviser is host a “Network” meeting for the Church employed Youth workers in the Diocese. My theory is that Church based youth workers are the only people who actually understand the role (made more complicated by the army of people (congregation, PCC & vicars) who think they do and have wildy specific but differing ideas of how the job should be done and results that SHOULD be delivered) and so it’s good to get together for encouragment, prayer, sharing the good and the bad stuff and to have some fun. This is great in theory but it is impossible to find a venue, agenda, location, day that will make 40 diverse youth workers/ministers all say “YES!” The Network meetings therefore are different every time and in a different place in the hope that over the course of the year most workers will have been to at least one! The other difficulty is that if it’s too serious (heavy training type input) some will not come while conversely if fun is the agenda there are others who feel they cannot justify the time! Hey Ho ….. we’re all different!
So yesterdays gathering of the serve of youth ministers (I decided “serve” would be a good collective noun but I’m open to better suggestions) saw the agenda thus:
Welcome and Coffee (Vaguely serious)
Punting (fun!)
Lunch (seriously good fun)
Prayer (serious-ish)
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There was a good turnout and I was really pleased that some of the new CYM students also came. It felt to me like it was a fun day that led into some supportive/encouraging conversations and prayer.
Simon(n) and Doc Hamilton have written their observations.

Church of England Faces 24 Days of Christmas Chaos

For my Anglican colleagues ….. here’s something for the staff meeting agenda:
Info below from national communication office. See also F4J Website
Campaign Group Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) said today that all 12,000 of its members will engage in a national campaign of civil disobedience designed to disrupt Church of England services across the country in December, including a march on St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 9th December with thousands of Father Christmases.
The group says that it’s ‘D-ADVENT’ campaign of 24 days of Christmas chaos will see protestors scale Church roofs, stage sit in’s and deliver alternative services from the pulpit. Other groups are said to be preparing to blockade churches. A controversial religious Calendar and Xmas card are also planned by the organisation.
F4J say that the C of E has failed to address the distress caused to children and their families when they are separated from their fathers after separation

Continue reading “Church of England Faces 24 Days of Christmas Chaos”

Still more “No Sex”

The final episode is on Tuesday and it’ll be great to see how it all pans out. There’s been some encouraging stuff written in the blogosphere and I’ve been fascinated by some of the comments left (including messages for Dan n Rachel). You can find these here, here and here!
Roy has flagged up the chance to comment directly to the BBC which would be well worth doing ….. especially as at the moment there has been more negative than positive feedback, I wonder how much is legitimate criticism and how much is anti-Christian type sentiment? If you felt it was a valuable programme then it would be good to share that with the bods at the BBC.
I am probably going to go to one of the Romance academy leader training days …. plan to sign up for 14th Jan 2006 in Birmingham.
ADDITIONAL: LICC are having another of their pop culture evenings on October 3rd. Among the guests and discussion subjects will be Dan & Rachel talking about the series/project. Details from the LICC website.

What a picture

what a.jpg
If you do your youth work within the Diocese of Oxford then here’s something that could be fun. The Diocese are holding a photography competition …. with an under 16’s catergory. The idea is that the photo flows from a Bible verse of the photographers choosing.
For details check out the Web page!
(The title photo is one that I snapped of the “Splot Brothers” at Greenbelt this year)

Provision for Young People

thermom.jpg YPN has the stats on spending per head in 2003/4. These are the youth service budgets for that area divided by the number of 13-19 year olds.
Oxfordshire was £64
Buckinghamshire was £87
West Berkshire was £99

I would love it if we were able to produce similar figures for the contribution of the voluntary sector. Actually we’d need two figures, a) actual investment per young person and b) what the total spending would be if all the voluntary work was chargeable.
Looking at Bucks for instance, the Anglican Church have 13 employed youth workers. It’s probably not unreasonable to estimate at least another 12 in other denominations. At a conservative estimate of these projects at £27.5k per year, that adds another £16 per young person. Bearing in mind this is only christian employed youth workers then I can see how the figures could REALLY stack up if we had a way of working out stats with other organisations, volunteers, community projects et al.

A round up of Silliness

Reactions againist Creation being taught in schools is a rich vein of silliness. The Flying Spaghetti monster has attained near cult status on the web (well worth reading the FAQ’s page, made me laugh) and is still growing.
My favourite though is from “The Onion” and their satirical piece on “Evangelicals refute gravity” …. very well writen and kind of plausible(ish).
On a different subject(s) Lark News is, as ever, worth a peek, I especially like the results of Fantasy Evangelism League and their piece on “Worshippers for Hire!”
And Finally ….. Steve Tom on the inherent Oxymoronic nature of the Chocolate Rich Tea Biscuit!

Moments of Youthworkerism

Managed to hit one of the young people in the face with a Basket ball last night (during a game I should add), no permanent damage but a slightly enlarged lip. Funniest thing was I think he was more distressed by the two sided official accident form we then had to fill in than he was by the injury! Hey ho
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Dukes of Hazzard

Went to see “Dukes of Hazzard” last night which I was sooooo looking forward to! Sadly I was really disappointed. It felt like one of the old half hour episodes dragged out to an hour and that didn’t quite work. The inept bully had become all too serious, the innocence sold out to crassness and something got lost along the way. Beau, Luke and indeed Daisy looked the part but the story and writing let them down. The car did rock though, as did the driving …. plenty of tail happy sliding around corners. Even so I still came out of the cinema without that usual post-film buzz.
Before I get accused of merely being unreallistically nostalgiac and hence negative, the teenager who came with me didn’t enjoy it either!
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Watchability for a youth weekend
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Usefulness for teaching or Discussion
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