The real ‘youth service’

When I first worked for a church, people used to talk about the ‘youth service’. By this they meant a church service led by the young people. I think we have made huge ground over the years in beginning to understand that the rest of the world uses the term ‘youth service’ to mean something completely different. It’s not a religious service that takes place in our church building on a Sunday night once a month: it’s how we get involved with local services and become part of the service that’s offered to young people across a town. One of the huge changes for me over the years is becoming so much more involved in delivering youth services to young people in the communities where we work. I don’t see that as separate to, or unconnected to, the work we do in building a youth group within a church.

I’ve learnt over the years that as you work with young people in a church context, the people that are still going 30 years down the track are very often...

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