Youthblog’s state on the ministry address

I was at a board meeting this morning and had the oportunity to offer my reflections on youth ministry in the Diocese to imporatnt people in suits. My ‘briefing paper’ stood out like a sore thumb among the meetings agenda, papers and reports as it was the only one in colour AND with pictures 🙂
The gist of it was along the lines of:
There are good things happening with youth work/ministry across the Diocese
Committed work by volunteers
Projects such as Youth Alpha
Around 36 employed Youth Ministers
Churches providing placements for Youth Work Students
Growing numbers of youth-led services
Credible detached work with marginalized young people
Diocesan events such as YELLOW BRACES and VERTIGO
Greater recognition of the contribution the Church makes

HOWEVER there are some critical issues that need examination
The number of Churches where young people leave aged between 8 and 10 and hence have no work with adolescents at all.
Resourcing and recognition of volunteer leaders.
Poor employment and management practice for youth workers/ministers
Lack of discipleship of young people and lack of exposure to faith in action
Lack of real engagement with young people ….. A “holding onto” mentality
Much larger number of churches engaged with primary schools than secondary schools.

There were some good questions and some useful discussion, expesially around my asertion that:
The problem is not so much that many of our churches
are completely disconnected from adolescents,
the problem is the number that do not see this as a problem!