Wednesday, July 20, 2016

All I believe to be the best of Group Work & Youth Work.

Here I am

spilling all I believe
is the best in Youth Work
This is where I am .
NOT my final word
I am still becoming.

You will be able to add to my life.
I will learn from you.
We all have unique experiences = learning.

All I have strived, stumbled and fumbled with over many years.
Take what you want.
Transpose it to your own context.
YOU are the expert
in YOUR context
become .........

Leadership is a function not status. 
I have never said 'my staff' because 
I believe that every single human brings uniqueness to youthwork. 
I believe that leadership is about 
Purpose, Programme, Process and People. 
A leader cannot do everything but these are the essentials and priorities.

No matter how large or small the youth work is 
- a team is needed to do the job
and to nurture/disciple young humans. 
A team needs to meet monthly to work together
at Programme, 
Training, Planning and Fun. 
Especially if the work is tough, 
a team can be the one positive part of a youth worker's life. 
Open communication is vital. 

Love, Security, New Experiences and Participation. 
These have always been core principles 
and practice in youth work. 
All humans need to develop and can do 
if they experience these four - and so can we.

Enclosed is a model which comes out of experience
of open youth work 
but can be adapted to any context. 
It promotes openness and acceptance
as youngsters enter into a youth provision. 
Casual, no pressure. 
It also has many open doors to encourage them 
to take steps into further involvement
through to leadership. 
A good programme involves body,
mind and spiritual activities.

Group Work. 
There is a difference between Working with groups
and Group work. 
The former is gathering a group together and doing programme type activities. 
The latter is forming a group with a closed membership and leadership. 
This is a particularly good model for working with young humans with behavioural issues. 
That group then stays together long term 
and is secure in terms of belonging and beautiful 
in terms of growing into the fullness of life that God wants for us. 
I have belonged to such a group for 29 years.

But - the greatest of these is Love.
You will work with a range of humans - young and old. 
You will be working with young humans from different backgrounds. 
You may have the privilege of those with Polish accents, 
other cultures, 
those with a differing economic status, 
academic abilities and more. 
You will understand them fully ONLY if there is intimacy. 
Building a positive, 
helping relationship seems to me to be pretty important. 
No matter what the cultural background, 
economic, academic state may be - 
there is one language which is understood by all. 
That is the language of love.

Love needs to predominate over our passion for engagement, 
sport, faith, relationships, church whatever. 
They can tell if you love them. 
Love seeps through the pores of your skin, 
in your eyes, in your face and body language. 
Love is largely non-verbal, just like all communication.
May you journey into love. 
Falling increasingly in love -
passionately with your creator.