After being involved in faith based ministry for a number of years, it has been a priviledge and a joy to see the excitement and enthusiasm of many different people engaging with others and seeking to serve, support and develop their community. Releasing the passion and watching people take wings is heartwarming and gives me a buzz – even better when you see the rewards of changed lives that follow.
The difficulty I face is how we then ‘support’ these new and fresh ideas, with the idea of sustainability and growth. Usually we begin by getting someone administrative in to work alongside the visionary, then we seek charitable status, then we seek to market things better, then we seek to duplicate and before we know it – we have a business. The founding heart and passion is somewhat diminished, if it still exists, and there is far too much time then wasted on fundraising strategies, managing organisation and policing ‘the system’. What has gone wrong? Simply? We have jumped into business and marketing principles and lost the reason why we started – Faith!
Sometimes I wonder if there is a better way – some days I just wish it could be found.
have finished reading “youthwork after christendom” and enjoyed it. It is not a huge book but is packed with nuggets that are useful for youth ministry and rather than providing a way forward in youth work it provides a few roads that you may wish to travel as you work with the young people.
A historical context of christendom and youthwork is the starting point (very much in a UK context) that then develops into a perspective on spirituality and young people leads into Mission and the directions we can travel in youthwork in the new environment. The 4th chapter dealing with the mission of God and the Homogenous Unit Principle (HUP) were interesting and provided some insight into how this can work in different settings. Some short work on the “process v product” of the ministry was challenging and for some youth bods would be worth the price of the book alone.
The book does not provide a “how to” guide but does ask questions whilst underpinning the need to KNOW THE CONTEXT of your work. Yes, I am shouting that bit – whatever your work/ministry is, it needs to relate to context. There are illustrations littered throughout and it is definitely worth a read.
fascinating article called “Africa needs God” at Times online. Worth a read.