Trick or Treat

halloween.jpg Welcome to my virtual bloggy Halloween front door *creaking hinges*
I guess we could have a huge theological reflection on our response to Halloween BUT I reckon it would be more fun just to play Trick or Treat 🙂
Sunset in the UK is at 16:36 today so the first 6 (UK) commenters who leave a ‘Trick or Treat’ message (with the time tag showing 16:36 or later) will get a bag of sweets. *Creepy laughter*
*Youthblog is not neccessarily endorsing Halloween or the practice of ‘Trick or Treating’ Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or loans secured against it. Batteries not included. Actual colour may vary

Primary Skill Function

traffic go.jpgGot to chatting yesterday about all the additional gumpf that becomes part of being a church youth worker, other than youth working. I guess in an ideal world (which I know does not exist outside of TV commercials and Disney Films) we’d be free to youth work, i.e bash on with the business of relationship building, informally educating, group working, ministering, listening, creating opportunities to grow etc etc. Instead there is a massive amount of admin’ and all the other duties that could be summed up by, “everything else the vicar thinks is a good idea!” It was a good conversation and remarkably gripe-free. I was reflecting on the fact that I used to run an entire ‘Yoof’ building which was a GREAT privilige but involved a HUGE investment of time.
So, I got to thinking about dividing jobs into their primary skill function and secondary support work! Now I know that no job is complete without the paperwork (*avoids doing obvious toilet joke here) but even so it’s an interesting piece of pseudo-analysis. So, for example a Lorry Driver spends the majority of the time using their primary skill traffic stop.jpg function i.e driving, whilst a Sales Rep (and I speak from experience here) spends the majority of their time on their secondary support work (Driving to and from customers and filling in all the paperwork) and relatively little actual time using their primary Sales skills.
So how does youthwork sit on this continuum*** from Lorry driver to Sales rep? What percentage of your job is PSF (ooh, note very professional utilisation of a TLA**) and what percentage is SSW? Or to put it more simply, what percentage of your working week is actual contact time with young people? And what other elements of your job do you see as Primary and which areas do you see as secondary? Discuss ….
Credit to Sian de la Nix and Yvonne von Matz for inspiring this post by beginning this (eclair fuelled) debate yesterday 🙂

* Ok I did the toilet joke by pretending to avoid it 🙂
** TLA = Three letter acronym

*** Isn’t the word ‘continuum’ great!

World of Youth Ministry

Deploying, as usual, my capacity for overstatement, Welcome to ‘World of Youth Ministry’ where random is the watchword and all that really happens is I blather on a bit!
Youthwork the conference is fast approaching with the one at Southport (ooop Norf) happening over the second weekend in November, the corresponding one for us soft shandy swilling southerners in 17th-19th Nov at Eastbourne. It’s entitled “Infinite possibilities” and one of those possibilities (and thus preventing me from being Norman no-mates) is meeting up for coffee on the 18th if you are around?
US Youth ministry blogger Marko is in hospital with a Pancreas problem, he’s hooked up to an IV but he’s STILL blogging! Marko, you’re a legend! Get well soon eh 🙂 Talking of blogging, welcome to God is my Director who has hit the ground running, oh and to the Chester crew who still seem to be blogging well. I’m not wanting to introduce massive levels of competition here BUT a goodly number of CYM students each year begin a blog and then just disappear, so it’s Chester Uni 30 points, CYM 15 points 🙂 Mike, consider that a nudge to actually writing something!
Youth ministers were left bereft of humour when Dave Walker’s cartoon church reached meltdown due to it’s HUGE popularity. Please subscribe to his offbeat take on all things churchy so he can afford more bandwidth 🙂
The women only youth ministry gathering, “More than Survival” was cancelled. I’m wondering whether this was because there wasn’t the demand? What do you think about singe sex youth ministry conferences? Is there a ‘market?’ I really enjoy the fact that youth work conferences have a male and female perspective and humour, I wondered though whether a male only retreat though might be a good thing? Discuss …..
OVERWORK! Really striking critique here from Bob Mayo via Michael in NZ. The danger highlighted being that commitment is demonstrated in busyness.
“Christians are subdivided and then reclassified according to their levels of commitment — there are cultural Christians, believing Christians, born again Christians and then finally committed, believing, born again Christians.”
And finally ……….
The following Advisory poster has been developed for youth workers considering job opportunities with the church:

A good nights sleep

Apparently I slept really well last night!
The reason I know this is because last night someone drove a stolen car into the Close where I live. They then set fire to it on the piece of sloping road past my house and let it roll down and crash into the woods (passing a few yards from my car) where it completely burned out. A while later a fire engine turned up to deal with the blaze.
I didn’t know ANY of this until this morning
Apparently I slept really well last night!

Spring Harvest

sprin harv.jpgI’ve never been to Spring Harvest (yet). I’ve been to the Methodist gig, “Easter People” which I really enjoyed ( I thought their philosophy of hitting a different town each year and people being a witness where they were staying was fab!)
I’ve been to Greenbelt LOADSA times since 1985 and have done a few Soul Survivors. I’ve also been to many and diverse christian conferences at Swanick. So my “I-Spy” book of Christian gatherings has a goodly (Godly?) number of ticks in but up until now I’ve not done Butlins for Born-agains!
All that is due to change in 2007 though as I’m accidently going to Spring Harvest!
I know what your thinking! “How can you accidently go to Spring Harvest?”
Well we were offered the use of a chalet at Butlins Minehead which is owned by a charity in Newbury. The only dates available were at Easter and I was delighted with this, a holiday! Wahoo 🙂 When I got home, I told the family that we were having a holiday at the seaside and sketched out the details to which my good lady wife replied, “Are you sure we are allowed to be at Butlins as Spring Harvest take over the site at Easter?”
Doh! (I’d completely failed to make the SH connection) and thought that it had all gone pear shaped. However on checking, we are allowed to be at Butlins as the chalet is owned albeit a lot of the normal entertainment etc is not happening as it’s not a regular Butlins week. NO probs, we can still use the swimming pool and can still walk on the beach 🙂 Very excited
So I’m accidently sort of going to (or being next to) Spring Harvest! LOL
Undercover Youthblog report will follow
* re the picture, I looked up Spring harvest on Google images?

The Yaconelli, Dean, Mayo, Rankin re-mix

You know that moment when you realise you have bitten off WAY more than you can chew, metaphorically that is!
Definitely suffering from this at the moment. I’m trying to write “Youthwork Update” that goes out to all 627 of my churches and had a great idea. I wanted to distill Bob Mayo’s and Phil Rankins research on Spirituality into a useful summary that I could link in with Kenda Creasy Dean’s perspective on young people as “Intuitive theologians!” Then use that as a challenge to help Youth leaders explore Contemplative Youth Ministry and hence work that engages hope, creed, call and community. Oh and did I mention that I needed to fit this in to half a side of A4!
full mouth.jpg