I was going through my stats the other day (as you do!) when I discovered an obscure reference to my blog on google…apparently someone who happened across this blog via the random blog option at blogger thought they had discovered the ‘real life Ned Flanders’! I’m not sure whether to be chuffed or unchuffed!
If we take Ned to be the epitome of fundamentalist judgementalist right wing Christianity in America, then I’m not sure that’s where I’m at…however, if it’s the Ned who seems to love everyone and forgives Homer repeatedly despite the many awful things he’s suffered, then I can deal with that. Funnily, while I was at Uni in my first year I was known affectionately (I always believed!) as Ned as I was known to be a Christian and didn’t drink!
So, I’m going to grow a ‘tash and start dropping ‘iddley diddley‘ into every sentence…nah, maybe not!
Fascinating to find out what strangers think of you though!
The last few weeks have been really busy as I’ve been out and about around the diocese discovering loads of great stuff that’s happening out there. God is doing some incredible work through some incredible people. I’m learning so much as I’m going along and loving pretty much all of it! Last Saturday I led a session on developing youth work strategy at a SWYM (South West Youth Ministries) gathering for their ministry partners. One of the key things that comes out time and time again is that too often churches expect their youth workers to be their saviour when it comes to getting young people into pews. The reality is that the youth worker must be viewed as being someone who comes to work with you, not just for you. Although that probably doesn’t sound to clear, what I mean is that they work with the whole church, not out there on their own.
When youth workers experience burnout it’s largely to do with the heap of expectations piled upon them, and their lack of support in achieving any of them. However, it must also be said that youth workers need to be good at planning their own time and communicating what they’re up to. If they don’t then the church will get the attitude that it’s someone else’s job…not theirs!
Another key point is getting young people involved in the process – they’re the ‘end-users’ after all, as are parents – so they deserve to have a say about how the youth worker is utilised. Kids who have a sense of ‘ownership’ invariably get more out of a project than those who don’t.
Right, thus ends the lecture…apologies…just thought it was worth posting some of my youth work thinking…