Just got back from preaching at the gig which I turned up at last night, finally got there with me and a congregation tonight!
It was a Eucharist specifically aimed at young people and I prepared accordingly. As it happened there were a vast range of ages there but I spoke specifically in a way that would engage the teens. Really good evening and the teens were involved in the service including all the music, readings and the like.
The Bloggable bit is this: Great reaction from the adults, they were really really enthusiastic about the preach. It seems to me that adult-format sermons impact some of the adults and none of the teens. A teen-format sermon engages the teens and a lot of the adults.
I know that this is a huge generalisation but look at how many adults turn up to youth-led services! Why?
Was early for a gig I was supposed to be speaking at, so I went for a ride on the Brompton (a folding bike), dropped down a hill into a village and through a load of teenagers. Inevitable (and slightly sarcastic) shout of “Nice Bike Mr!” so I stopped to say Hi, once I’d shown them that the bike would fold into a package in 15 seconds they were really impressed and we had a good chat. They all had a turn at riding it and they taught me a better way of controlling speed on a Skateboard (not convinced I can do it though!) Anyone want to pay me to run a course on “Detached work using folding bicycles”
Anyway, very glad I had a fun time as it turns out they’d given me the wrong date for the gig and it is, in fact, tomorrow!!!!!
Good Post from Sarah. I agree TV is useful, I’m not anti TV as such and yes, Danger Mouse is of course, awesome. I think I have a problem with the way everything is packaged and sound-bited (new word!) for TV. The Lyrics of 1991’s “TV the drug of the nation” I reckon are still profound …. for example,
“Where straight teeth in your mouth
are more important than the words
that come out of it”
I want to understand and appreciate the culture around me but I guess my prefered mediums are listening/talking, radio and Films. I’m very grateful to everyone who keeps me up to date with TV though (and lets me watch theirs!)and every year I buy the DVD compilation of the best adverts of the year as I’m very intersted in the way that advertisers target culture(s)! Interestingly TV viewing figures overall have been going down. Let the debate continue …………
I don’t have a TV! Had some good discussions with teenagers at Camp when they discovered this serious omission from the Macdonald household. Sometimes wonder whether we should get one but actually from a youthwork point of view it’s great ‘cos I have to get my TV info from the teenagers. Surprisingly too most of them were more open to not having a TV than I thought they would be.
Just been reading some John Stott, he’s got a much snappier argument against TV than me, he reckons TV makes people: physically lazy, intellectually uncritical, emotionally insensitive, psychologically confused and morally disordered. He’s got a point but I don’t think it’d make for an open dialogue!
I’m reading a fantastic book called “Soul Shaper” by Tony Jones all about “exploring spirituality and contemplative practices in youth ministry.” I bought the book because I’m interested in how spiritual disciplines and practices from across Church history can impact youth work. However it’s proving first and foremost a challenge to me! Tony Jones quotes Eugene Peterson to make the point, “I think the most important thing a pastor does is who he or she is” There’s a challenge when we tend to justify ourselves/our ministry by our doing, at the expense of our being!
How do you measure the success of youthwork? The effects of good youth/community work spread out and have a wider impact than just the target group, especially when we are talking about God changing lives. But how do you quantify the success (if you wanted to). The current government have a bit of an obsession with targetting and monitoring but it does throw up some good stuff. Today in the Times (p20) is a report on the “On the streets” youth project in Manchester that has reduced crime on an estate by 70% which is a fantastic result. It’s definitely great to see youth work having such a dynamic impact for the whole community INCLUDING the young people (unlike ASBO’s).
I wonder if we need to be doing more work on measuring? I know that it’s more about being Salt and Light but quantifiable results are so encouraging …. hey and faith based work needs funding too.
There’s a fantastic Christian project in Woodley called “Just around the Corner” which is making a great impact, I wonder if it and others would benefit from more stats to prove it?
Fab last day at Greenbelt but was definitely missing having a youth group around. Couple of great youth work moments though: Randomly teaching a teenager I didn’t know to ride a unicycle (without success but with great fun) and bumping into two lasses from a camp earlier in the summer! Even cooler ‘cos they were saying “that’s sooooo weird, we were talking about you five minutes ago!”
There were some truly inspiring people at the festival, great to see Anita Roddick (of Body Shop fame) and she loved Greenbelt too, how’s this for a quote, “I am cheering the Greenbelt festival from the top of every bloody mountain…for me, it’s like a heartbeat. And it’s youth. I’m ashamed of my bloody prejudices, but I’m delighted to be a convert. I find it wonderful.”
Finally made it into the internet cafe after two blog free days. Theme this year is “Freedom Bound” which is a pretty good theme for the crazy, wonderful, honest, inspiring weekend that Greenbelt is. The Morning service this morning was awesome and it was great to be celebrating the Freedom we have and being challenged on how we use that freedom.
A few years ago “Fat n Frantic” sang all about “Freedom for a few who have bought the right to tell us that their freedom lie is true” and went on to say “Freedom without justice grows up into slavery if you’re not a Barclaycard carrying member of the free”.
Started a whole bunch of youthwork ideas in my mind on how we help young people engage what freedom means and how we help them to see the injustices that the world economy accepts as the norm! Not sure where this would fit into the Governments “Transforming Youth Work” agenda.
Off to Greenbelt festival in an hour, it’s tipping down with rain, blowing a gale and generally not the sort of weather you want to camp in, still I’d better Carpe the Diem and get on the road.
Greenbelt has been a significant influence in my life and Christian faith. It was at greenbelt that I met Christians that were engaging with a hurting world, debating the difficult stuff, making a difference and celebrating/using God given creativity.
Yesterday I took one of the young people I mentor to Xscape at Milton Keynes. Its a ski slope with “real” snow in a shopping/leisure complex. I could get all metaphoric and write a load of cheesy stuff about youthwork in a culture that is fed poor substitites for things of real value, image instead of worth, power instead of significance and the like. However, I’ll just say it was FANTASTIC fun and a piece of youth work that was going downhill for all the right reasons.