Category Archives: Youth Work

Being Good News

Doing youth work differently has meant unlearning some old ideas. When the focus of the church was to entertain the congregation on a Sunday morning then a youth club that did the same fitted well. When the focus of church is to release and equip people to spend time connecting with their neighbours then how do you do yIMG_1662 smallour youth work?

Instead of trying to come up with novel activities to attract young people the focus has been to work with them and create projects to make a difference; activity with purpose. So last term the young people decided to plant bulbs in flower pots and give them to their neighbours.

And it was great fun. First a trip to B&Q to work out the cost of bulbs, pots and compost followed by hot chocolate together at Costas afterwards – they loved that. Then a session where they designed, acted and filmed a fund raising video, more fun! A few weeks later they returned to B&Q to buy in materials, and more hot chocolate afterwards, That was followed by a bulb planting session, messy fun! Finally the scary bit, but we provided moral support as they delivered the flower pots to their nearest five neighbours, most of whom were delighted.

And in al this the young people are learning what being a church is all about.


Beware of Smugness.

It was the first week back after the Burgerfest and we suggested to the youth group that they might like to try cooking again. They decided on pancakes – a bit early I know – but they wanted to serve each other, organising a sort of cafe. Wow, they really did get it! Fantastic I thought, I could write a triumphant blog about another ground breaking session of youth work. Alas it wasn’t my finest hour!IMG_1867 small

Smugness is dangerous. It says, “I’ve made, I know it all” which makes me blind to both what I need to learn and also what I need to unlearn. At the start of Philippians 4 we read how the wheels were coming off Paul’s Philippi Project. His response – to rejoice! Now to rejoice is not only a happiness not dependant on circumstances – there’s more, To rejoice in the Lord is alos to delight in being a disciple, not having made it and feeling smug while the rest work it out. It’s realising only God knows best and revelling in a journey of discovery with the King and those in his Kingdom.

And that’s just the start! Beware of Smugness.


Sharing the burgerfest

So often Christian youth work can beburgerfest 2012 about teaching young people what they should believe – a diet of ‘do’s and don’ts’ which is far from grace, high on information and low on application.

But at our last youth group event of 2012 we decided to let the food do the talking and after grace there was only one ‘do’ – you could not serve yourself. In front of a hungry youth group were all the constituent parts for a feast of beef burgers. There was no Bible study, no sermon, just a bunch of young people struggling to unlearn all the consumerist, get-it-and-grab-it conditioning of their short lives – to follow the Servant King and put themselves last and others first. As they listened to each other, made burgers to give away and served one another we had a laugh and the food of learning was sweet and satisfying. What is more they did it and they got it,

And the parting challenge, as we started to clear away, was to be the same on Christmas Day.