It’s interesting that in the area of ‘discipleship’ on of the questions I often hear is “What do we need to teach?” ….. It’s a well meaning question but is too rooted in a culture of modernity, with the assumption that having the correct information/understanding (or in this case, Doctrine) is the key to developing as a disciple of Jesus.
I don’t feel I’ve the right question defined yet but I guess it’s around, “What do we (leaders and young people) need to explore, do, wrestle with, experience and question in order to be growing as disciples?”
This is me musing out loud about the enormous danger in the ‘teach’ approach that may unwittingly forget that young people remember little of what was taught, but enormous amounts of what they experienced, observed and encountered.
In musing about this one of the scenarios that comes to mind is a residential centre that I am connected with. When groups have left one can often find evidence of solid and heavy Bible Study along a discipleship line. The oddity being that the place is often left in the sort of state that suggests the clearing-up model applied was “what, if at all, is the absolute minimum of tidying/cleaning that we can get away with?” (in my mind, at odds with notions of a discipled life)
What did we teach verses what did they learn? mused Pooh
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Go Kart Pilot

Of all the stuff I’ve weeted* on the blog, it’s the story of my sons battle to become a Go kart pilot that has attracted the most delight and conversation when I’ve actually bumped into online blog friends. (You’ll find the back story here, here and here).
Given the reaction to the driving saga, I thought I’d post a photo of H chucking the kart into a corner. The picture doesn’t convey the speed but it certainly conveys his enjoyment!
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* I figure if tweet is the verb when you twitter, the act of wittering (my normal blog mode) must be weeting!

Friday quote

“What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God’s love, a love we don’t even have to earn”
Madeleine L’Engle (November 29, 1918 – September 6, 2007 )

Mein laptop kaput ist

Lack of blogging …… let me tell you why?
I managed to fall over while carrying my laptop, doh! My leg REALLY hurts but worst of all are the very real signs of the impact that the laptop is (quite literally) displaying.
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I was away on a residential so was rendered incommunicado. I’m now back though and thankfully have found the gubbins part of the unit still functions fine, so with the aid of an external monitor I am back in business.
Did you miss me? (actually, don’t answer that)

Captains Log Supplemental:
I’m fully back in line and online after our wonderful IT department set up a spare laptop with all my programmes and files on. The prognosis for my old one is not good but I am awaiting a final decision from Dr Dell about its future.
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I would like to thank everyone who expressed sympathy with; me, my leg and my laptop via the mediums of blog, phone and Facebook. As a token of that gratitude you’ll see I elected to post a photo of the laptop rather than my leg

World of Youth Ministry

The big news over the pond is that Youthworks has acquired Youth Specialities from Zondervan. Brief details are on the Youth works site here detailing that Zondervan retain publishing while Youthworks will take events and training.
(BTW Marko is back to blogging and he has a whole load of stuff that will make sense of the goodbye Zondervan, hello Youthworks)
Talking of publishing though, The UK’s IBS-STL (book supplier) is up for sale due to financial problems caused by the recession (and I guess the changing landscape of publishing). Only time will tell what that means for Christian books/youth ministry resources in the UK and beyond.
Funding I think will be the major conversation for next year, with posts, resources and organisations struggling. By way of (painful) example, three of my colleagues in different Dioceses are facing redundancy.

Shed Envy

A while back someone commented on the blog (I can’t find where) about this Howie T Shirt, “Shed Envy!” I’m delighted now to be the proud owner of the T shirt
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Other than than this there is nothing to report on the shed front other than:
1. The small Garden store shed took quite a battering in a storm last night and may need to be rebuilt.
2. The ‘Boat House’ or Kayak Store is an impending project which will be a radically different approach to the art of shed in that I’m hoping it’ll be a triangle ….. and thus entirely roof (kind of)

FYT StreetSpace

home_box_mite.jpgMessage from FYT
AT FYT we are just about to nationally launch our new StreetSpace project to engage young people on the street and in the community and we could really do with your help to make this possible.
For the last 3 years we have been piloting StreetSpace and it has been really effective at engaging young people and exploring new ways to grow church with them. The project has been welcomed by young people, the police, councils and local Christians and we have been inundated with requests to start similar projects across the UK.
So to make StreetSpace happen nationally, please could I ask you for a small amount of time and money! In these challenging economic times, we have become very aware of the value of small things and the impact a widows mite (Luke 21) donation can make.
If you could turn on your phone and text the word MITE to 82540 it would be really appreciated. Texts cost £1.50 (plus your standard network charge) and over a pound will go directly to the StreetSpace initiative”

That was the Not the Youth Weekend

I had a great weekend away with friends at the awesome Woolhope Cockshoot (complete now with two newly refurbished bathrooms). It did rain quite a lot BUT it mattered not. We discovered a fantastic Crazy golf course at Hereford …. which was a whole lot crazier in a deluge!! Good times

Version 3 of the video but still a work in progress

We also discovered a game called Perudo which is a highly addictive game of bluffing and calculated mathematical skulduggery, great fun!
For both of the regular readers of this blog (before you ask) we never got around to doing the “twenty years on” versions of the photos! Next time though ……..

Not the Youth Weekend

I’m thoroughly looking forward to this weekend when I shall be away with a wonderful bunch of blokes with whom I have been friends since we were in the youth group together (twenty odd years ago).
It’ll be a weekend of very old jokes, great food, fun, prayer, walking, talking and much laughter! A cracking mix of infantile silliness and deep conversation in the company of friends who know each other in a way you only can when you grew up together.
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One of the activities for this time is a bit of photography. Specifically I have some photos from back in the day on a youth residential that we’ll be aiming to reproduce as we are now. As we are going to exactly the same place, this should be possible. Although I am not sure I can still cling on to the beam on the ceiling in this way anymore …. but hey I’ll give it a go! (note that my friend Stu in the right of the picture is sitting on the top bunk)

Previous mention of this event that happens every 14.5 months here