Some of my YFC friends are playing 5 aside footie for 48 hours in an attempt to make a new world record and raise funds for work with young people across the county.
Why not go check out what they are doing; and it would be really cool if you could sponsor them too!
Over the last few days I have been a little more involved in my YFC responsibilities which I have found has really energised me as well as given me opoortunity to catch up with old friends.
Last week I travelled to YFC head office in Halesowen for the AGM and a board meeting.YFC is an exciting ministry to be part of at the moment and there are some great job opportunities at the moment. Nationally we are looking fr an HR manager and a street dance team leader – details here. Locally we are looking for directors for both Norwich and Epping Forest YFC. These are two of our longest standing centres with great and diverse ministries … check them out here. It’s amazing to see that we now have 72 centres across the country … interesting that as the church is in decline, the number of YFC centres seeking to engage with young people across the nation is increasing.
wHile at head office i learned about this new 18+ resource on you tube. You can check out discussion starter videos here.
Yesterday, as a trustee of GIllingham YFC, I was involved in an away day with the other trustees and team members. The day was led by Richard Bromley and was just great. We had fun, we worked together, we thought alone … and I think the upshot will be a better worked out strategy resulting in new and creative ways of working with young peiple. Please hold GIllingham YFC in your prayers! I am convinced we are going to see some exciting stuff happening over the next year or so.
Today I also met up with Ken Wright, the chair of the YFC board. I have been invited to become a board member and this meeting in Victoria was part of my induction to help with that.
It does seem strange coming back to YFC and coming back in such a different role. In some ways it is confusing, in some ways quite exciting … and in all ways it is a privilege and humbling to be asked. I believe my calling is to serve – and it will be a pleasure to serve YFC in this way for a while, and it seems right to do so. I’m also a little surprised!
YFC is involved in a lot of interesting ministry, particularly in local centres and with te Reflex program working with young offenders – if you have not checked out their website recently …. go have a look …. you may be surprised!
It has been a different couple of days for me.
Yesterday I returned to the head office of YFC in Halesowen. Walking through the door after 2 and a half years was kinda weird but it was great to see old faces and catch up with a few people. I was invited to join the board of YFC a little while back and yesterday at the AGM I was voted on. I am not sure what I can contribute – but I hope I can be helpful from a local centre point of view after being director at Gillingham YFC for around 10 years.
At the board meeting I was excited to hear about the changes in YFC, particularly the greater emphasis on local incarnational ministry along with a vision to work with others to see young people experiencing faith rather than just hearing about it. This is a challenge …. but I am convinced experience is really the only way!
Today I have been at the university all day as part of my ongoing curate training. Today we were looking at legal issues associated with weddings and funerals. This was led by the Archdeacon of Tonbride, Clive Mansell, in a good interactive day which I found quite useful (despite being sceptical before the start of the day!)
This evening we have just met as a small group (called the imagination guild) to plan our next gathering looking at the theme of ‘birthing a church’ and using Acts 2 as our bible text. This was a good creative time after we initially struggled with what we thought the passage and the theme was all about. I was quite excited with the outcome of the guild and we think we will be able to link this into our easter gathering which will happend at sunrise on Easter Morning.
So … and exciting couple of days … tomorrow is back to a normal kind of routine which I am really looking forward to. But … looking back it does make me smile … a lot of the time I feel that I seem to have to try to co-exist in different worlds, or, as someone pointed out today, different bubbles ….I wonder though whether I am slowly starting to see that everything I am involved in is connected in a spiral type way. By that I think i mean that the stuff I do does not immediately seem to fit together, but as I visit the same area over and over again from a slightly different perspective I start to see the connections all over the place.
I guess I had a bit of a deja vu experience today as I met up in London at the Indian YMCA with the YFC Local Ministries team. I have been continuing to work for YFC one day per month to keep the movement linked with the Department for Education and NCVYS with the aim of keeping YFC updated on statutory youth policy. This is a role I have enjoyed doing as it enables me to keep a bigger perspective on what I am doing. Sadly this role comes to a natural end at the close of this financial year.
Being with the team today was an excellent experience. It was energising to be in a room of people that have a united vision and a desire to do the best they can to give young people an opportunity to experience the kingdom of heaven. I was asked to sum up, as a person coming back to visit, what I was seeing going on and I noticed a few things that I find quite exciting:
YFC are clearly still on the edge. They are great at what they do, but the organisation today was still asking the question ‘what next?’ It was aware of where it is not doing a good job and healthily and honestly asking ‘why not?’
The people there today have a desire to reach young people. People present today discussed with integrity and without hidden agendas. They shared ideas and encouraged each other without fear of being criticised, nor out of desire to push their own interests. Today was genuinely about how can we collectively be better at what we do.
I could go on for ever but finally I sensed that these people have become desensitised to how great a job they do. They are seeing miracles everyday and that is becoming the norm. Because of this they are not really taking on board how amazing the things are that they are involved in. This is because they don’t shout about it but just get on with it.
It was great to be able to take part in this today. It has reminded me where I have learnt a lot of my stuff – and, personally, I think there are a lot of Christians and churches ‘out there’ that could really learn from the agenda-less honesty of a YFC style of working.
Thanks guys and girls – great to see you!
This looks like a great role with my old friends at YFC.
Apply if interested.
The meeting with Bishop Brian and bishop’s staff seemed to go well this morning. It was great to see these people giving good time to pioneer ministry and asking questions that led be to believe this is definitely high on their agenda. Clearly it is something I feel passionate about and I hope this is an early stage in the diocese coming up with strategy for pioneer ministry – that would be a really cool achievement.
Catching up with colleagues of the past at the YFC meeting in London was also a great experience. It always surprises me how the buzz of London really excites me; I could feel my energy levels rising as the train pulled into Victoria, and walking from Euston to CTIE just made me regret a little that I do not come to London as much as I used to.
The purpose of this day was to ask some good questions as YFC is in a key time of its ministry. I was particularly interested by the discussion we had around recruiting trustees – these people are key to things continuing and it’s an area where good investment is needed. It was also good to chat with friends – and to see that YFC really is the family organisation that it thinks it is!
A curry with these wonderful people brought a great end to a good day.
Wednesday’s are not always great days for me; they are days when I find I have to be really disciplined as it is normally a ‘study’ day and to be honest I really want to be back amongst the people I am slowly getting to know.
I realise however that study days are important in that they give me time to reflect and force me to consider in more detail what is happening. I think it also serves as a mini break as spoken of a few days ago. While it is painful to be away, the break allows some form of growth to occur.
Today, however, is a different Wednesday. In a couple of hours I a attending the Bishop’s staff meeting as he wishes to talk about pioneer ministry, hear from me about my first 10 months, and consider the way forward. It is a good opportunity to thank them for the opportunity but also to share the realities of the questions we need to be asking for the future – which for our diocese I think are about strategy and investment. It is also a great opportunity to share the stories of the last few weeks that I have blogged about – stories of interactions that have only happened after 10 months of daily visiting and stories of interactions that I do not think would have occurred with anything less.
I hope this meeting goes well and the people that can make decisions for proper investment in pioneer ministry.
After this I am joining others from YFC in London as we have a planning day for Local Ministries of YFC. I am really looking forward to meeting people I have not seen for a while and engaging with others as we look to see how we can creatively serve YFC as it moves forward in a new way.
Certainly not a normal Wednesday for me – and the first Wednesday I have looked forward to for a long time!
This is fantastic news!
I can’t think of anyone who would be better for this role and lead the incredibly wonderful and exciting movement that YFC is. I guess my one regret is that I am no longer there to see and be part of the exciting things that will happen.
There will be many tears when Roy goes, but being able to hand the ND onto someone of Gav’s caliber will add excitement to that sadness.
Well done Gav!
Today has been an emotional day for me as it was my last day of working with Youth for Christ
There is so much that I will miss about YFC, which I am not sure many people who are not part of YFC will understand. YFC thrives on trust and faith. The trust I have been given, the atmosphere of encouragement rather than checking up on me, the constant brushing with creative and evangelistically passionate people, the great honesty between individuals and respect always shown are all things that have moulded me over these last 15 years or so.
I am going to desperately miss working in this environment – so whilst I look forward to what God has for me next through ordination and all that may or may not mean, as the day ends I will indulge myself in a little sadness as I leave the organisation and people that I have a massive heart of love for.
To start writing a new chapter, the page you are happy with has to be turned to reveal the terrifying opportunity of a blank page.