God's Geek

Reflections and random thoughts of a geeky youth worker in North London...

Friday, March 31, 2006

Observations of a youth worker

There are a few things that I can't help notice when doing youth work. One of my observations is that young people aren't always great at listening and often respond to the question that they think was asked or should have been asked. This is the classic....

Amanda: 'There is loads of mess here. I don't want to know who did it, but will someone please clear it up? Here's a dustpan and brush.'

Young people: 'It was .... (various finger pointing ensues as they all grass on each other).

Amanda: 'That wasn't my question. Maybe you could clear it up even if you didn't make the mess.'

Young people: ????????? (confused and perturbed looks).

Anyone got any more of these? Young people - maybe you have got some thoughts from the other perspectives, something that adults always do/say without fail...?


I was somewhat annoyed the other day when a cash box got stolen at church. It was safely locked away but someone managed to get in anyway. The somewhat ironic thing was that we had been looking at the subject of stealing in a mid week group and there was a whiteboard in the room covered with stuff to do with the subject. I am hoping that the thief saw the board, considered what was on it and has since repented! (This is sounding remarkably similar to my fantastical story of what happened to my stolen bike...) You never know; the Lord works in mysterious ways...

My Jesus

I thought I would report on a conversation that was had between a friend of mine and some young people that I know recently...

This group have been coming less regularly to a popular youth event. My friend asked them why they weren't coming anymore.

'Because it is full of new people that we don't know.'

'Isn't it a good opportunity to meet new people. You coudl even tell them about Jesus.'

'Yes, but he is MY Jesus.'

Need to have a think about ways to encourage young people in outreach... didn't know wheteher to laugh or cry.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Word Cloud

Here's my blogging word cloud thingy. Tis quite fun, methinks! The link to do your own is here

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Little things that make me smile

This cartoon is from We Blog Cartoons and is a great free resource of cool cartoons. I liked this one because it reminded me of an episode in Boots the other day. While perusing shampoo, I managed to drop my gloves without realising it. After picking up a new deodorant, I happened to walk back down past the shampoo aisle for no particular reason and I saw my gloves on the floor!

I am terribly bad at losing things like scarves and gloves and these lovely red gloves had been part of a set for my birthday. Neil has been convinced that I would lose a part of the set (to be fair to him, this is based on my appalling track record). I was so happy to find them, even though I didn't know I had lost them. It was only a little thing but it made me smile... and this cartoon reminded me of the moment! Let's celebrate those little smily moments that we have this week.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spring is Here!!

Yay! I feel like Spring has arrived - the ice cream van has started coming down our road every afternoon again. It surely must be spring time! (Resisting popping out for a 99...)

Monday, March 13, 2006


Apologies for the blog fast but a mixture of busy times at work and some personal stuff has meant that free time has been precious and not involved blogging. One cool thing happening recently has been Unite! Enfield has something called the LEP (Local Ecumenical Partnership) who every 2 years run a load of lent courses for people from various churches. One of the things that happens as part of this is a youth lent course.

When I first started a couple of years ago, I ran 6 sessions on prayer called Connect with the curate from the local Anglican church. This year, I was linked up with someone from the Salvation Army and it has been really cool getting to know people connected with youth work there. I thought I knew quite a few of the youth leaders in the area already through N:Flame and other links, but I hadn't realised that there was cool stuff happening at the local Army. As well as young people, there are also various people in their twenties, which remains a rarity in many churches.

We have been looking at the theme of unity and thinking about the things that unite all of us from different denominations as well as things that we may not agree on. Last night we had a question and answer panel which went well, especially the heated discussion over baptism between my hubby and the Army Major... didn't know until recently that Salvationists don't practice communion or baptism... but afterwards the youth leaders and some of the sixth formers went out for a curry which was even better! A great opportunity to get to know each other and have some fun. I really hope that these sessions will be a platform for working together in the future.

On a more disappointing note, the turn out from my church has been disappointing. I have cancelled one of the groups that was running with low numbers over this half term to ensure that they have got time to come to this, but it just hasn't caught on. Publicity has gone out and I have reminded everyone, but i just don't think people want to come. It is frustrating as I think it is so important for young people to mix with people from different churches and think about different perspectives/theology but people don't seem that bothered. Being a reflective practitioner (!) I am reviewing why people aren't coming and it may be because of a lack of ownership. I think it is really important that we don't just provide a programme and activities for young people, but we engage them and motivate them. We need to include them in the planning of events and use their gifts and abilities, not just as a token gesture but because this is how they grow and develop.

However, i have found practically, it is hard if not impossible to get a good level of ownership over everything and I had hoped and prayed that the young people would want to come to Unite! as it is an interesting subject and a good opportunity to meet new people. But people are fairly apathetic and not too bothered about coming, with no clear reasons why. Any thoughts/comments from other youth leaders (or young people) would be cool...

To end positively, this has been a good experience and great to get to know other people of similar minds and ages in the area. And it has been healthy to discover and discuss our differences as well as focusing on the One that unites us.