At the moment everything seems so busy that my rhythm of blogging seems to be going down the pan. Much of my time seems to have been spent on the combination of Christmas events and activities and the process of trying to buy a house.
Yesterday I helped to lead the carol service for one of the local primary schools that I am involved in. It is always a great joy to be invited to have some role in these events. Christmas for me can be a busy time so it is great to hear the gospel story presented in so many different ways – often, surprisingly in this suppossedly anti-Christian times, very biblically. Yesterday they had over half a dozen scripture readings alongside various carols – including some great more modern ones.
Today I spent most of the day doing paper work linked to our youth clubs, and preparing for the three clubs that we ran tonight. Our youngest group, ironically called Take Off, still hasn’t really taken off, and seems generally to only get two young boys. Something that definitely needs more prayer and thought – do we stick with it and keep trying to do more advertising, or do we change the way we do clubs for 5-10 year olds. The reason it has so few young people isn’t because we have no 5-7 year olds but because several families will only make bring children to one youth club rather than the two they should be split into. Any thoughts anyone?
The other groups seemed to go well tonight, although it was difficult to try and explain to the Rock Solid group that they are going to be temporarily closed due to a couple of leaders resigning which to some degree is linked to increasing behaviour issues in club.
Anyhow that’s my last couple of days! Hopefully tomorrow I can do a quick catch up of stuff from around the web.
Today I have mainly been … networking.
Following an early morning secondary school assembly on the true meaning of Christmas I spent the morning in our staff team meeting and then trying to come up with a plan with Tessa (a retired lady who volunteers her time to try and organise the paper that goes in and out of my office – possibly one of the hardest jobs in the world) as to how we could restructure one or two aspects of the filing system. Sounds quite boring, but really I am getting excited by it as it could make a huge difference in the amount of admin I have to do.
This afternoon I have spent a great time chilling out with a whole load of the statutory youth workers in the town. I went to the Young Peoples Counselling Service AGM at lunch time which was good – although they are in desperate need of funding and the re-hash of the NHS has certainly not helped them. Following that I met with one of the youth workers to chat through the funding opportunities available to our youth groups at the moment – there are so many opportunities we just need to make sure we come up with wise ideas and then put some effort in to our applications and we could have some more funding come the middle of January. What was interesting was the way that the youth workers seem open to partnering in new projects together which could be really exciting.
After that I went and sorted out one or two bits in preparation for our film night at the two youth clubs tonight. Should be quite a relaxed evening with some opportunity to do some admin – winner!
However much you prepare things can still go wrong in youth work. Tonight, at our Rock Solid group, we were playing a game entitled Mousse in the Dark. The idea was that two volunteers would feed each other mousse or yoghurt while blindfolded.
We put plastic sheeting down on the floor, put big plastic aprons on them, tied their hair back, put the blindfolds on, thinking that we had done a reasonable amount to protect them and their clothing. But when blindfolded yoghurt can get everywhere, on the sheet, on their clothes, all over the blindfolds.
It was hilarious and the kids loved it but what a mess. We managed to clean up fairly well and luckily the parents didn’t seem to stressed but I think we might invest in some boiler suits before we do that again!
You reach a point when you have to rethink everything before. Jesus forces us to do this. His thoughts on the Kingdom of God turned the Jewish thoughts upside down. He redefined the Kingdom as “a reign not a realm, authority not geography”.
Youth work is prophetic for the church. We need to rethink the faith – the message, the scope, the lifestyle. Andy then looked briefly at 3 areas:
Proclamation – Luke 10 shows how we must have preaching of the word, social action and a charismatic spirit. We must stop this pick ‘n’ mix attitude.
Spirituality – we must know the king to know the kingdom. Ensure that our youth work isn’t a place where Jesus is left out – it certainly can be easy to do that.
Discipleship – have we aligned ourselves with God’s kingdom and are we encouraging our young people to align with God?