Youthwork Summit 2013 Live Blog

18 May

So, I’m here in the plush chairs and looking forward to what the guys at Youthwork Summit have prepared for us.
The atmosphere is bubbling with conversations and clearly lots of expectant youth workers.
This should be a good one!

This blog will be updated after every session, so roughly every hour.

The welcome is FAR too enthusiastic for early on a Saturday morning.

Seth Pinnock – We are all ambassadors of the Most High God, gathered to get our marching orders.

Martin Saunders – This year’s theme is “Greater” as we admit that youth work is getting tougher, but our God is greater!

Session 1:

Slam theology – Conrad Gempf and Harry Baker
“Romans 8, Colossians 1”
He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world
He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness.

Future proofing your youth work – Dr Patrick Dixon
All big trends are related
Fundamental truth – Life is too short to do things you don’t believe in
Society is breaking families apart. The breakdown of families is a crisis in this country.
Not only working with kids but working with their parents, helping them to learn appropriate boundaries in life (especially on Internet).
All youth people are conformists. We need to set a faithful example for them to follow.
We are programmed to make a difference. Each person able to seize own destiny.

Let Muslims change you – Tim Fawsett
Love thy Muslim neighbour
How do we respond when we think about Muslims?
How do we reach out to Muslims?
How can we be Christians with Muslims?
Share the best of our faith and let them share the best of theirs.
Do we want to love Muslims?
Do the images we associate with Muslims actually represent who Muslims really are?
Could the Good Samaritan become the Good Muslim?
We should be prepared to go to the crazy, scary places and share life with Muslims.

Apologetics for the apathetic – Ruth McGarahan
In the 1990’s the church was losing 10,000 young people per week.
40-50% will fall away.
Judges 2:10
1 Peter 3:15 – Always have an answer ready
Young people are not too young to critically engage with theology.
Questions are really important as they make people think.
Questions can get rid of assumptions and faulty logic.
Questions can expose motives and show that we care.
Do it with gentleness and respect

Disrupting chaos – Dr Kate Middleton
Young people are often overloaded by their emotions.
Young people are developing in their understanding of sexuality and identity.
We need to help young people in dealing with these things.
Young people may be able to do some things better than adults, but they are NOT adults!

Broken sex – Beth Stout
1 in 3 13-17 year old girls has been pressured into having sex when they didn’t want to.
The questions from young people, not just those outside church but also inside, about sex are no longer whether sex outside of marriage is wrong, but more nuanced about what counts as sex and what you can and can’t do when.
Average teenager watches 90 mins of porn per week.
Young people aren’t just asking about boundaries to know what they are, but are wanting to know what other people think.
Our job is NOT sex education. Our job is to share what God thinks about sex and relationships.

Session 2:

Slam theology – Conrad Gempf and Harry Baker
“Romans 8, Colossians 1”
You will do greater things than these

Meet the parents – Dave Sharples
Spoke with passion about reaching the families in our communities. Through reaching the families we can make a difference!

How the other half learn – Oliver West
Different people learn in different ways. How we communicate can help or hinder others from learning.
Linear, consecutive word creation (writing in sentences) can work for some but not for others.
Some people are visual thinkers.

Hope in the inner city – Camila Batmanghelidjh
Neglect can lead to deformed brains due to a lack of interaction.
An excess of fright hormones can deform the brain.
Receipt of love releases oxytocin, enabling the body to deal with fright hormones and pain far better than those that do not experience love.
Sharing love with young people enables damaged young people to heal.

Growing up poor – Katie Rice & Lillie Jenkins
Families on benefits are more likely to miss a meal than those not. In single-parent families they are twice as likely.
Churches serving lunches can help to feed the poor.
We NEED to feed the children!

Your youth group can raise Lazarus – Lydia Corbett
Do we bring the power of the Holy Spirit into every day youth work experiences?
Do we turn to prayer first when someone gets injured?
Have we put the Holy Spirit in a box by having “ministry times” rather than allowing Him to be seen in our regular walk of life?
Signs and wonders are for the non-believers, not the believers. So why aren’t we letting the non-believers have a chance to experience Him?
Lazarus will never be raised if our expectations are not already raised.

Session 3 – The Takeover

In this session the young people take over and speak to us about what they are doing and challenge us on what we can do to help them and other young people.

Sean Donaldson and Luke Lonergan
Christian website for Christian young people, by Christian young people.
2 passionate guys wanting to follow God’s call to start a revolution.

Nahum – young person in Egypt
Just listen to the young people. Listen to what is stopping them from getting closer to God.
Shine with the light of Jesus, whether in a free society or in a society where freedom is curbed.
People don’t need to hear about the light, so much as see it.

Leanne Jones
Young people have always been inspired by their youth leaders. It is time that youth leaders got inspired by their young people.
Hope are running Mission Academies to encourage young people to choose their mission field and get stuck in.

Luke Jones
Keep on going, helping young people who need the support of their youth worker.

Jaden and a girl who’s name I can’t remember!
Mentoring – “first learn stand, then learn fly”
How can people learn to stand if there is no one to teach them?
Mentors help us be the people we are. Without our mentors, where would we be now?
Who’s life could you change?

Jacob Lloyd
Role models helped Jake deal with the issues in his life.
Youth workers, keep on pressing forward as role models for your young people

Session 4:

Slam theology – Conrad Gempf and Harry Baker
“Romans 8, Colossians 1”
He must become greater.

Followship – Jill Garrett
Almost every leader is a follower, for we are all called to be disciples of Jesus.
How do leaders help others to be better followers?
What does being a “great follower” look like? What is a great follower?

People asked the question – What would inspire you to follow someone?
1 – Ability to manage and engage people (listen, involve, trust, appreciate, have fun, they care)
2 – Personal makeup (honest, open, respectful, committed, focused, determined, courageous, humble, patient, vulnerable, energised, reflective, passionate, non-jargony, curious)
3 – A novel outlook (look laterally, bend rules, love pressure, highly accessible, strong visionary, “customer obsessed)

The key drivers of follower engagement include:
I know what I am expected to do
My manager or someone at work cares about me as a person and as a worker

Qualities of followers
focus on community
self awareness

Faith in Crisis – Gavin and Anne Calvert
Do not be ungrateful for that which you do not have. Be great full for that which you do have!
Where is God when we suffer? He is holding our hand!
There is a heresy around the Church right now – the prosperity gospel!
Life doesn’t get easy when we follow God, but when life gets hard we must press in and push on towards God.
Through Jesus God has declared “I am with you!”

Dealing with your dark side – Rachael Costa
Rachael talks about OCD and the way that it can affect people’s lives. About how it can take control and dictate behaviour.
We all have our dark side. OCD is the way that some people deal with their dark side. The question we have to ask is how do we deal with our own dark side?

Praying without ceasing – Celia Apeagyei-Collins
Prayer is driven by passion. It is driven by need. Prayer is driven by desperation.
Prayer is a conversation with God about supernatural things.
Why do Christians wonder whether their prayers will be answered and yet will not tell God some bad things about Himself?
We pray because we have no alternatives but in God!

It’s not your ministry anyway – Danny Curtin
“Young people are worth more than all the gold in all the world…because they are children of God.”
“God isn’t the it you do before getting on with it…God is the getting on with it!”
Our ministry belongs to the Church and the people being ministered to before it belongs to us!
Young people are the experts about how to reach their peers.
We should accompany, call, form and then send young people.
It’s not your ministry, it’s bigger than that!

Session 5:

Rachel Gardner and Tony Campolo have a conversation about how we can be the Church with conviction and authenticity.

RG – The promise that God wants to to greater things through us can start to feel like a pressure or an obligation.
We are not called to be world changers and the hope of the world any more than the last generation.
What does it mean to be a person of authority?
Matthew 16 – Peter declares Jesus is the Christ and is given the authority of the keys to the Kingdom.
Why don’t we pick up the authority God gives us more often?

TC – We are saved by grace, not by works. God loves us just as we are, we don’t have to become something we are not.
Power is the ability to coerce. Authority is something you either have or don’t have, you can’t be given it by being put in a position.
The Church doesn’t sacrifice enough in love. Loving sacrifice gives us the right to be heard!
If you’re going to follow Jesus, how sacrificial will you be?
We gain authority from living authentically.

RG – We must take care not to make a god of authenticity

TC – Quotes St Augustine “Love God and do as you please” – the meaning being that the more we love God the more we will want to do the things of God.
If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it.
The secular society is not listening to the Church nowadays. The Pope has said he wants the Church to become poorer – to earn the right to be heard.

RG – I want a daily “Gandalf moment” where I can declare “You shall not pass”, standing between the world and young people.

TC – Titles and testimonies give you authority. If you have to choose between the 2, choose the testimonies!

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