Monday, 10 August 2009

Doom, Gloom and Office Room

I have been a youth worker for 3 weeks now. Well, I say that but I have only actually seen any members of 'my' youth three times, and one of those times was before I was even employed. And to say I'm a youth worker is a lie too. I'm a part-time youth worker. Yes, for only 12 hours a week I'm amongst the most clinically insane members of this society. I am under no illusion, however, that I'm going to be doing just 12 hours a week. It's week three already, and I've already accumulated 8 hours of overtime, and that was with doing only 8 hours this week. And I've only seen the kids twice in all that.

As a part of my preparation, like a Borg attached to the collective, I've been assimilating all the advice I can gather about leading a youth group. I can tell you, it ain't cheerful reading. Youth work provides mental, psychological, physical, and spiritual downs, and I'll be lucky if I don't burn out within a year. Fantastic.

Of course, with that sort of advice under my belt, where can I go wrong? Too be honest, though, I have been amazed at the amount of pitfalls discussed in the books that I have already encountered. I've been confronted by the trying-to-please-everyone trap, with everyone telling me what I need to do and me saying 'yes, I'll get onto that'. I've already experienced the comparison pitfall, where one of my youth said 'The youth-group at such-and-such does it like this'. And this is all in just three weeks and with only meeting the youth three time, one of which was before I'd been hired.

I only took the job because I thought I'd have my own desk in the office, which I don't.

Quick Questions to readers:
  1. Is it blasphemous to say 'Holy Guacamole'?
  2. Have you been a part of a Christian (or even secular) youth-group and what was it like?

1 comment:

  1. I think youthwork is pretty tough, but then I think in the end there are loads of rewards for doing it. I think it is also a great privilege, which is what I heard from one whose done it. The main thing I think is to keep tapped into God, be gentle with yourself, and have a good support network outside of the church. I had a fab e-mail about it from a friend so I'll send you a link to it.

    Also my answers to your questions:

    a) I dont fully know. I'd say no at first but then thinking about it more, I'm not too sure. I think I prefer 'sugar' or 'noooooooo' but then again sometimes I accidently can be much more inventive :s uh oh.

    b) I have been part of a Christian youth group and for the most part it was fab. Though, I think within such groups, there is a competition amongst the group to be the loudest people, and sometimes I felt a little left out, but I also think mastering group situations comes with age. I think as a youth leader it's important to keep an eye on those on the fringes and keep them in the loop. I managed to get through the awkward teenage years and have come out the other side with many happy, lovely memories.


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