Recently i was challeneged as to a theoretical.
If i was to retire as a youth worker,in 35 years time, and i have only worked with one group of 20 young people. would I be satisfied.
my response was yes, if I had done good work with the young people.
my questioner told me that they found my attitude disgusting. how could I be satisfied when there are so many other young people to work with.
I guess my attitude is based on an understanding of youth work being relational, challenging and life changing. If I can affect the lives of twenty young people in a good and positive way encouraging reflections, critical analysis of themselves, the bricks to enable the young person to construct their own world vew, and how to change and build a new view when the world breaks down their pervious viewpoint. then yeah I will be happy with twenty young people.
This doesn’t mean I only ever want to work with twenty people. but if I look back and I only have done good work with twenty then I am happy.
My attitude also reflects a belief in the other.
God in my understanding is different to the boxes, conceptions or understandings I seek often to put God in. He works within me, outwith me, inspite of me, without me, in mysterious ways. If i don’t work with someone, on behalf of the church. I have to trust that God can work with those people without my help. Perhaps using someone from another church, perhaps using a voluntry agency, perhaps through a council service.
Perhaps an angel will visit. I don’t understand God fully. I never will, thankfully, if i did my head may just explode.
I work with young people who want to engage with me. for what ever reason there may only be a few people want to deal with me. Youth work is voluntry. If young people don’t want to engage or work with me, that is there right and decision.
If twenty young people want to come, work with me and be in a relationship, and thats all i get in all my life, in 35 years, I will be satisfied.