Youth work has failed!

Years ago I was closely involved in the national training day for teenage and youth workers in Flanders. It was when I still lived in Belgium and had been active for years in large teenage camps, youth events and led a youth group myself together with Karin. Every year we sat down with a group of beautiful people passionate about youth work to think about that national training day. We talked about the new theme, brainstormed about workshops, made lists of possible speakers, looked for better locations, … you know how it goes. In that setting, Filip de Cavel, a good friend of mine, came up with the following proposal as a theme: ‘Youth work has failed!’ This title arose from the analysis of the results of years of youth work. So much energy is put into youth services, praise nights, teenage evenings, drops, starting weekends and whatever else you can think of. And yet the result over the years has not been positive. Many young people drop out of church during their adolescence. With all that effort, the endless meetings and consultations, preparations, training days and vision documents, we have not achieved ‘successful youth work’. Regardless of the church color people belong to, the need is high (almost) everywhere and the losses are great. What went wrong? When I look back I know that I too made mistakes. I have gone along with the ‘lie of the big numbers and the full youth agenda’. The more young people at an event, the greater the feeling of ‘success’. While numbers in themselves mean nothing. A full agenda or lots of cool activities for young people also say little about real, lasting fruit. The focus in much youth work or in many youth workers is probably on the wrong thing. That is why we need to voice a different voice and learn different skills. A change of thinking! Shouldn’t we more go for friendship, personal guidance and real discipleship? With or without a great band. Not necessarily with the latest program. Even with few young people and barely a budget, God’s love, power and gospel remain just as powerful. I think the focus is still making disciples. Living and passing on imitation of Jesus. That is why we at Royal Mission feel such an enormous passion for teen and youth work. We would like to help youth workers get and keep the right focus. So that youth work will succeed with the Lord’s blessing and the next generation will become and remain followers of Jesus. That is why we are starting a Youth Work training course this year with 10 short weekends. Education from experienced youth workers, testimonies from workers in all kinds of contexts and with different challenges, and lots of interaction, prayer and encouragement. Our Youth Work training starts next Friday. I know it’s short notice for you, but if you still want to join, you can! Not for us, but for you and especially for those young people you deal with. Youth work must not fail and it does not have to fail, because Jesus says and promises that the harvest is great. For you too! >> You can read information about our youth work training HERE This school year we will also hold more free training days about child and youth work. The program will be available on our website soon. We can already pass on the first dates. Make sure you come with your team and invest in ‘successful youth work’!

  • November 1 in Zwolle
  • January 10 in Ede
  • February 7 in Almelo
  • April 18 in Leystad

>> YOU CAN READ information about our free training days HERE

About Martin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Karin, 2 mooie dochters, passie voor Jezus, spreker, schrijver, trainer en een beetje gek!

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