I don't know about the rest of you, but I find that most of the articles on Christian Youth Work tend to forget this key concept. It is integral to the Christian faith; Once we accept the limitations that the Word of God places on our lifestyles, we are free. Let's be controversial and apply this approach to some youth work that exists in this country. There are quite a few youth ministries that are growing numerically, others that are growing spiritually and there are others that are deflating, stagnating and effectively NOT living up to the standard they need to be at.
When it comes down to it, Youth Workers need to know the limitations both of their group and of themselves, a lesson I'm learning the hard way.
My group cannot deal with direct confrontation (non-aggresive) or making decisions, it seems like theyn almost don't want to use their brains. So it comes back to me via my church leaders that some have said the group is boring, but I cannot get them to make suggestions.
I work with young people who are mostly from impoverished backgrounds and through a church that is unable to invest in any of their ministries as mush as they'd like to; i.e. financially picking up enough slack to take a trip somewhere and keep the costs low so that we can get more people involved.
I am unable to make financial contributions of my own, as I am unpaid and not in any other kind of employment
If I try to write material, it will be too academic and not everyone will be able to follow it, and I struggle to bring myself down the many pegs I need to
These are perhaps the biggest four limitations on ministry anywhere, yet nowhere can I find someone who offers good advice on these situations.
So now, with all this negativity out of the way, knowing what my limitations are, I can adjust myself and my ministry to be more relevant and understandable. I know I need to use material written by others and adapted for my group, a success I had with Tearfund's Just People course. This is actually far better for the young people I work with, as it frees me from any prison I may be holding myself in, to give them the best experience possible. My church is looking to expand from the one small building we have into another building just next door, whcih would allow us to do more things such as lock-ins, which we could organize and host for a lot less than planning an away trip.
With a lot of articles, they talk of ideal situations; big groups, wealthy groups, churched young people. I work with a lot of young people who profess spirituality of some kind or another, but would not want to say that it could be the Christian notion.
I guess that the reason God's ministry through me has fallen below the standards I set, is that all these articles are telling me that the ministry I have been charged with is not acceptable or normal (reading between the lines). However, God HAS appointed me the Youth Leader and I am going to tend this vineyard until I receive my Abramic Call to Go In Trust.
Prayer Request: Please pray for my Vineyard, that I would tend it so it glorifies God and produces fruit that will go on to become even more fruitful and all the negative feelings that my group and I currently have will be chipped away so that God can reveal Himself in glory to those that belong there (and we all belong there)