The last 9 months have been an interesting journey. My change in jobs has meant that I am no longer considered a “youth” worker/minister/pastor. For some, this is not an issue but for others it is – and for me it has been a time of reflection. 20 years in youthwork has been fun, exhausting and the best ride of my life. However, I still consider myself part of the youthworker club (couldn’t think of a better name – youthdom??!!) and still engage with youth – the difference is that it is as a volunteer and no longer as a salaried role.
Over the years my priorities changed, my ways of working altered and my views on success changed radically. With so many years experience people view you as some kind of authority and whilst the experience counts for a great deal, even those of us with significant years under our belts can make mistakes. My job role may have changed but I still consider myself a youthworker and will always fight the youthwork corner in any debate – this youthworker has not died.
So, as a volunteer and as a vocal supporter of youthdom in my salaried role, I have found the same struggles, joys and exhaustion as before. Even last night my sleep was restless as I pondered the youthwork of my local church – my desire is still the best, my passion still for the young and my heart beats with the same old drum. Is this the death of a youthworker? Not a chance – here’s to another 20 years!