Snow doesn’t bother me too much. Every year my kids yearn for the stuff in the hope of a day off school and some fun building snowmen. I have to admit, I usually share their hopes. In fact, I would say it’s the job of every good youthworker to get out and organise snowball fights with their youth group! But I couldn’t hide my disappointment this March when the flakes started to fall.
Over a year of planning and organising our 40th celebration including guest speakers, a rebrand, publishing a book and so much more, all to be cancelled because of the weather. Well, not completely cancelled. We ran a birthday tea, launched the book and our new logo, had some excellent performances from young people and I managed to complete the Burpee challenge of 500 in 56 minutes! But most importantly, over 100 of our incredible supporters came along and made it a great day.
Like all people, there are times that I feel frustrated.
A project didn’t quite land in the way I had hoped, we hit a challenge which added work, a young person responded badly, a big bill hits the door. But for every frustration there is usually something positive to reflect on, I just have to ensure that I weigh them up in equal measure. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4 that he was ‘hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body’.
I believe we live in challenging times for youth ministry. Youth work is undervalued, underfunded and hard work!And yet, this term we have seen our Easter Uncovered project delivered to over 100 students at OPEN Academy, over 25 young people make commitments to Jesus at our Encounter event, another 15 at a youth residential I was involved with in partnership with Cambridge Youth for Christ, and our ongoing film work continues to develop and spark more conversations with young people. Not to mention all the other conversations at our regular lunch clubs, youth clubs and cafes.
We might be in challenging times but we’re not done yet!
So we continue to engage with the challenges and frustrations and continue to ask for your support as we celebrate our 40th birthday year!
Our new date for the 40th Birthday celebration is 15th September! I hope you can make it!