Supporting your work with Young People 

 Dear Friends,

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)


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!


Every blessing

and if I can offer advice, support, training or encouragement .... or just visit your group, parish or deanery then let me know. 

       Ian Macdonald
       Diocesan Youth Adviser 
       01865 208 253

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.

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)

30th May 2015
Adventure Plus Family Day
An open day at the
new Adventure Base
in Clanfield

10th - 12th JULY 2015
Yellow Braces
Diocesan wide event
held in Oxfordshire


Youth worker and Leaders
Network Meeting in High Wycombe.

Contact Erica from YFC

Bucks wide organisation
supporting work with young
people. Excellent source of
training, advice & support.


1st Tuesday Each Month
Prayer breakfast for Youth Leaders. 7:30 am
Reading Minster

Contact Sam Mckee



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