Welcome to the Youth Ministry Mailing,
The last three Churches I have visited have not been large churches or been in larger population centres, but all three had a great bunch of teenagers connected with the life and mission of the church. The thing they had in common was that in each case the young people were involved deeply in the mission of the church, not just the services or a youth group. All three churches coincidentally ran 'Holiday Clubs' whilst two of the churches also had ways in which the young people were involved in service to the community, and/or connection with mission and justice projects in the UK and overseas. In all of this the teenagers were involved alongside the adults, or sometimes in fact taking the lead. I especially loved hearing that one nine year old was working out how long it was until he could be old enough to join the team that lead and deliver the holiday club.
All three of these Churches would be the sort of profile of church that could have lost contact with teenagers, instead there was a vibrant involvement with the life, mission and call of the church. Young people making sense of faith and of the call of Jesus by seeing it modeled, and being part of it .... in action, not just in word. It was hugely encouraging to see. The great things too is that is does not rely on having enough young people for an entire youth group.
For me the question to be asking is: Where is our Church living and doing Jesus 'stuff' and how can we involve young people in this .... so that together we are 'making a difference in the world' and 'making disciples?'
The £5 Challenge for Youth groups to get behind for Christian Aid week in May is a well thought out resource and challenge, have a look
Blackout from Open Doors is a challenge to switch off all media in order to support silenced and persecuted Christians all around the world. We are just in the middle of it for this years campaign but may be worth flagging up for next year. Details
Wear it Out
is a resource to help young people look at their engagement with the Fashion Industry
YELLOW BRACES & Other Christian Holidays
Going away as a group is a FANTASTIC way to build relationships and to explore faith together. It's the time together and the time with God that creates lasting memories and anchors for young people in their journeys. It's one of the reasons that the Diocese run Yellow Braces every year, to which you and/or your group are warmly invited. (details below)
If Yellow Braces doesn't work for your group though that's not a problem and I can help you run a residential weekend at a different point in the year. I am a trustee of a residential centre in Herefordshire called Woolhope Cockshoot
that works well for small group residential trips. I can either coach you through running your own event or work with you to put on a weekend.
There is also a fantastic range of Christian holidays through the summer months. Adventure Plus
(based in the Diocese and about to launch their own activity centre near Faringdon) run total adventure. There are also great camps run by CYFA
, Urban Saints
, West Runton
and Scripture Union
How's this for a mad idea? Human Hungry Hippos
(Click on the picture to see the YouTube clip)
TRAINING, LEARNING AND CONFERENCES
Youth Work Summit 2015
YWS is an intensive on the Friday mainly for employed workers whilst the Saturday is a huge gathering for ANYONE who is involved in ministry with/to/among young people. TED style short talks from practitioners, lots of coffee, lots of discussion. Details here
Myself and another youthworker from the Diocese are booked to go, does anyone else want to join the road trip.
Youthwork the Conference is moving from its regular home to Swindon. It will be a residential conference at the PGL centre, but being closer to the Diocese, a day visit is also possible. I will be there on the Saturday. Details here
The Centre for Youth Ministry are running a course called ENGAGE
which is a fantastic grounding in youth work and ministry. It runs over 6 Mondays (during the day which I know will rule many people out) but it is worth flagging up. For more details contact Jo Hutchence
Yellow Braces 2015
: Building on the huge success that the Diocesan Camp was this year we'll be back in July next year (10th - 12th) with another weekend of lived Christian Community and connection. Publicity and booking will be available after half term. You can register an interest with Melanie
and/or book me
to come and talk to your group about it.
MEND THE GAP
: October 17th 2015 (so still 12 months way) we will be running a day on engaging with children, families and teenagers. A day to inspire, enable and equip!
MAKING ME SMILE
and if I can offer advice, support, training or encouragement .... or just visit your group, parish or deanery then let me know.
A to Z of Youth Work ....a humorous but useful guide to key components of youth work
This month J: (non) Judgmental Practice
Non Judgmental practice is one of the key ethics of youth work and goes hand in hand with honesty. It engages with young people for who they are, and where they are.
Diocesan Youth Adviser
01865 208 253
I love these points of intersection between Youth Ministry and Youth Work, where professional youth work is resonant with the example of Jesus in the gospels. (Given how much of youth work has it's roots in the Church and its work for social justice, this isn't surprising)