I’ve tried to see if their were any other threads on this subject, but I can’t seem to find any, so please forgive me if I’m going over old ground.
I’m a professional youth worker undergoing my final year of a Youth and Community Work and Applied Theology degree. I was hoping to hear what sort of youth work/ministry people were up to in their parishes and what form it takes.
Here in England, the current trend is for parishes to employ professionally qualified (to government standards), full-time youth workers and ministers who will provide quality youth work in a parish for ‘Church’ and ‘non-Church’ young people.
So many parishes/churches are raising money just to join the queue for one of many youth workers/ministers coming out of Christian university courses to work solely in Christian environments. In addition, churches are also applying for government and trust-fund monies to employ youth workers who will double as service providers in their areas too - by this I mean that as well as evangelizing and cathechising young people in the parish they are providing family support, for example, or working with local groups to develop community strategies, much of which will not involve explicit evangelisation.
It has got to the stage where there are now more youth workers employed by the state church (Church of England), doing much of what I have described above, than there are by the state, which I find interesting - and it could be argued that they are also doing the state’s job for them!
I’m a Catholic but I’m employed by the Church of England to work in a parish near to me. It would have been nearly impossible for me to follow what I believed was my calling (to work full-time) in a Catholic parish in this country, and so I am grateful to the Church of England parish for taking me on! BTW, one of the reasons I got the job was because I spoke more about the Holy Spirit than the other (non-Cathoic) candidates!
In the Catholic Church here, their are very few youth workers/ministers who work within just one parish, though some do so over either Diocesan or Deanery level or as school chaplains, working within a number of feeder parishes. Are there Catholic parishes over there employing youth workers/ministers? If so, are they working with both ‘Church’ and ‘non-Church’ young people?
While I am enjoying my placement I still have a desire to work within my own Church and I’m thinking and praying very deeply about how best to do that. So, come on - let me pick your brains - I would love to hear people’s reflections and experiences, principles and values, about different types of youth work, both within and without the church.