God's Geek

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

Monday, June 23, 2008

A busy yey great weekend!

The weekdn just gone was great although I am now shattered! It started off with a coffee morning that Yoof Klub ran, one highlight being our adopt-a-jellybaby scheme, where for 50p you could become the proud parent of a jellybaby, complete with birth certificate. A funny moment was one of the girls tried to get her mum to look after her jellybaby as she was tempted to eat it, which had happened to an earlier baby. Her mum refused, and as she gave in to temptation and bit off the baby's head, she cried out 'Mum, you're making me do this...' I'm sure there's a sermon illustration there for something somewhere - any ideas?

In the evening, we had a sleepover at Yoof Klub. We had a superhero theme and did lots of things, including a super hero hunt, where 3 leaders were hid around town with a super hero disguise and the young people had to find them. I also ran an activity where a team had to cross the kryptonite swamp (AKA the Hall floor) to get me a glass of water. They were only given a few chairs to use as transport. It was v funny to see their response as I told them when they had got back that I wouldn't drink it unless it had squash in it and they had to go back and get me some! The young people loved it and it was a great reminder that old ideas are still good and you don't need lots of equipment to have lots of fun!

It was a good night but I didn't sleep much. I was really excited the next morning as a number of young people hung around at church that don't normally come. We ran a special super-hero themed morning. The young people didn't go into church at all and we looked at Jesus as the ultimate yet unlikely hero. We split people into groups to look at a different part of Jesus' life and they were given a challenge to come up with a comic strip of the story. It generally worked really well and at the end we put the comic strip together to look at the 'Adventures of Jesus.'

This was followed by the car park party, a renowned event at Enfield Baptist Church, involving a car park , various inflatables, ice cream factory, throwing wet sponges at the minister, strawberries and cream, general fun for everyone and finishing with all-age worship! A number of young peope from Yoof Klub stuck around for that as well and it was good for them to see people of all different ages having fun together, and the weather was beautiful! It was weekend that made me feel all fuzzy inside and grateful for the church that I go to. And Daniel is now talking to himself, saying 'Happy, happy, happy, happy!' Beautiful! Also, my senior minister ordered me to have today off as I worked so hard. Lovely.

Friday, June 06, 2008

It's been a while...

... but I'm back. A number of reasons have conspired againt any blogging, such as running around after a small boy, my husband hogging the office for his own studies and me being fairly tired after working, mummying and doing a spot of marking.

So, what's been happening? Well, Daniel's vocabulary is extending, current favourite word is poo-poo, and favourite animal noise is ee-ee (a mouse). And I discovered at bed time that he knows what stars are. Neil's vocabulary is also pretty good, which he's putting to good use with his degree in Children's and Youth Ministry at Cliff College.

I've been experiencing and thinking a lot about lessons in leadership. The last few months have been... interesting... at times, and I've learnt a lot of things. As I write them, I can't help but remember the words of Ecclesiastes 'there's nothing new under the sun.' There is nothing remotely original here and it's stuff I knew in theory anyway. But, as ever, these things take on a deeper resonance when you live through them. Here's some of my incredibly obvious insights:

Sometimes when you are a leader, you have to make difficult and unpopular decisions. People may not like them, or you.
Sometimes you don't know what people think and you'll never find out, but you can't help but wonder anyway...
It is often tempting to explain and defend yourself, but sometimes the best way forward is to shut up.
On the other hand, being up front and talking to people about differences is much better than ignoring issues and tensions
People can be jealous or scared of you, even if you think this is completely unfounded!
The things God lays on your heart and you speak about may not always be popular.
Even if you love planning, sometimes you just have to wing it... and God makes it happen so you trust Him instead of yourself!
People work very differently - and it's a GOOD THING, especially when it's different from the way you want to do it
Sometimes poeple don't understand or appreciate what you do, and although you may want lots of praise and adoration, it's probably not that healthy anyway.
Good leaders want to develop a fear of God, not people.

Obviously, whenever I write you, I am obviously referring particularly to myself.
Here's a couple of personal ones to finish with that are challenges at different times. My guess is that other leaders struggle between these 2 extremes.

Sometimes I am arrogant.
Sometimes I lack confidence and I'm insecure, which affects the way I see things.

I remember when I was younger desperatley wanting to be in leadership because it looked so fun and it made you important. Obviously, I have understood for a while that importance isn't at the heart of leadership; stories about Jesus and feet washing spring to mind. But I think I'll have to keep coming back to these same old lessons time and time again. SOmetimes I feel like such a slow learner and I am thankful that I have an ever loving, ever patient teacher.