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A yr of Youthwork…

August 13, 2011

In April last year I’d just got back from Kathmandu, it’d been a rough adventure but a great one, I’d learnt so much about people and places and myself too. One thing that had me thinking on the plane home was.. what was I going to do next? I’ve never been a planner really… some people, you ask them what they want to do with their life and they reel off their 10 yr plan in detail.

I’ve never been that person. I’ve always just kind of gone where the wind took me, wherever God shoved me really.

Sometime between getting home and my first week back I began praying about what happened next. Familiar territory. Alright God, what’s next… a couple of days later I got a phonecall from Dave Gregory, I already knew that he was leaving and that someone would need to take on some of the youth work but I was still surprised when he asked me.

I could go to Brazil and work with street kids and churches, I could go to Kathmandu and check out schools and hospitals and cope with electricity shortages, strikes and trying to keep out of harms way… but.. could I take on our teenagers back at LBC.

The thought of taking the Upperword Group, working with the Chill team, working with the Life group, organising Synergy and being immersed in all things Youth related was a little bit intimidating to be honest.

But God is faithful, all of the things that he’s ever called me to do that I’ve felt ill equipped to do he’s provided the things I’ve needed and he’s let me learn so much along the way! It’s been such a privilege to get to know our teenagers and young people, if you take the time out to talk to some of them you’ll realise how gifted they all are… they’re not just gifted musicians, actors, actresses, singers, readers, writers, good with technology and so many other things.

They’re also great teachers. What I love most about my job is the refreshing honesty that I’m faced with everytime our teens get together.

They’re are not afraid to ask the questions that no one else thinks to ask

How do I know when God is speaking to me?

Does prayer actually work?

Is God actually real?

What about the Holy Spirit… is he still relevant today?

They’re all about trying new things and figuring out what they believe too:

Why does God do that?

Is there more to worship than singing?

Can we change this?

Can we talk about this topic?

We want something that speaks to us…

Through prepping Sunday school and the life group I’ve had to think about a lot of different angles and questions that they might ask me and in doing so I’ve learnt so much.

This year my catchphrase has been ‘It’s all good, Gods got it covered.’

Out of all the jobs I’ve ever had being a youthworker has been the most challenging. I’ve had a fair few exhausted Elijah moments, I’ve jumped into a few situations that God has had to rescue me from.

But the high points have been amazing.

Being around when someone experiences the power of the HS for the first time,

when someone else realises that prayer works,

seeing someone baptised,

seeing young Christians evolve and grow before your eyes,

being challenged in your own faith because one of ur teenagers has been challenged too,

being present when the only thing left to do is pray for someone and seeing four or five teens jump up to pray.

I found that God linked things together perfectly, as I was challenging our young people to take on synergy and witness to their peer group back in November, I was being challenged to get up the front and speak to you guys about God. My first kids talk I don’t think I’ve ever shaken so much! Those who’ve seen me grow through Loughton know that when I was younger being up the front of the church was NOT on my agenda at all!

I’ve also been blessed to be a part of other activities too, being a part of the Family Fun day has been great, I seem to be the one in a corner with paint and paper! It’s great to be in charge of the messy stuff!

Mission rescue has been fun too! Discovering that we have a talented team of leaders and helpers who are willing to be a little bit silly in order to get a story across has been great to experience!

So what happens next?

When it was coming to the end of my contract this year I got asked by JP if I wanted to stay on for another year, I got so excited by the thought I couldn’t say no!

If I’d stopped YW in May I have the feeling It’d be like leaving the story unfinished … the decision had to go through the members meeting and as I was banished to the Kitchen whilst they made their decision I was sooooo nervous!

I realised then how much I wanted to stay and carry on working with the teens!

In a couple of weeks I’ll be heading out to Brasil and that’s exciting, but what’s even more exciting ….

Coming home and starting something new with our YP, continuing the fun we’re having at Chill, starting our Youth worship services and getting stuck into the Bible with these guys, we’ve got another Synergy coming up in February and loads of things happening in between.

One thing that I have learnt is this.. when you set out to teach teenagers, be prepared to leave knowing more than you knew before. Expect to learn things too, God is constantly reminding me that with him all things are possible, with Him the preparations get finished, the seeds get sown, the hearts get changed, the difference is made.

My job has been to try and inspire, equip and encourage these guys in their walk with God but they’ve inspired, encouraged and equipped me to do what I’m doing.

I’m convinced I have the best job in the world, and that’s all because of God … and these guys 😉

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