Last week I had to face the PCC. Every 2 years or so I’m required to write a report about how youth work is going at church. This is actually quite a daunting thing. Whilst certain areas might be going well it’s hard not to wince as you have to detail the areas that are perhaps weak, especially as you know that if questioned on it, the best excuse you’ll be able to muster is that you just haven’t quite got round to it yet! Still, writing it was also quite a helpful exercise in getting me to think about the varying stages that different groups are at as well as individuals. It probably didn’t hurt that I had to write it during a period of changing some areas of my work, which I was able to detail and which probably gave the impression that I was more forward thinking than maybe I am.
The face to face reporting turned out not to be quite as daunting as I thought it might be. Everyone had already had the report emailed to them prior to the meeting and so all I really had to do was field some questions, which really wasn’t that bad. I felt I was able to give a good account of where we were at and some of the reasons behind changes being made and people seemed to be happy with what I said. It was nice too that there were a couple of parents there who were able to vouch for me by saying how much their teenagers enjoyed the groups and thus far hadn’t gone off the rails on a cocktail of sambuca and class B drugs all whilst under my influence. And on an even more positive note, once I had finished answering questions, they let me leave! Back home by 9pm and not feeling even the slightest bit of sympathy for the rest of the PCC who were most likely going to be there until 10.30pm!
On a different note last Saturday was the first Saturday I was working under my new timetable and I’m pleased to say it was a great start. I met one of our teenagers in the morning for breakfast (hello full English on expenses!) I felt it was a really productive time together, talking about everything from music, schoolwork, plans for uni and quiet times. I was also really pleased that he agreed to start meeting for One2One bible reading beginning in April, which I think will be really good for both him and me.
Saturday afternoon was primarily spent playing table tennis, Mario Kart and Goldeneye and humiliating my teenagers as I quickly trounced them at all of the above. I’ve still got it! The curate, who line manages me, said that he was once told that you should always lose at games to your young people so as to build them up or something. We both agreed this was a completely ridiculous idea and really there are only so many ways you can throw a game of Connect 4 before they realise you’re up to something! It’s fine to win but just be a gracious winner. And if any of my young people ever read this I just want to say “HA, in your face losers!”
Our evening service last night was led by our 14-18’s group, or at least those who weren’t off on holiday. Half term is not a good time to schedule a youth led service! Anyway, one of our older boys led the service for the first ever time and he was great. He was clearly a bit nervous about it but he got up there and did brilliantly, even in the face of some failing technology which meant a quick re-shuffle of the service on the fly. It was all the more encouraging to see him up there as a year ago I don’t think he would have said boo to a goose. He even said afterwards that he’d quite like to do it again. Top stuff.
The service was also the first time I had preached at an evening service. I’d done a couple of 10 minuters at one of our smaller services before but the evening service is generally supposed to be a bit more meaty. We’re talking 25-30 minutes here. It was a pretty nerve wracking experience in the build up, again as it’s easy to fear man and not God, but it came together really well in the end. I’m not sure if it was recorded but if it was I might pop it up on here. I’ve only had one email so far from someone telling me they interpret the passage completely differently but I’m not too concerned as my thoughts tied up with the commentaries and my line manager was really pleased with what had been said as well so I’ve just got to trust God knew what He was doing. He’s got a pretty good track record so far.
Now just a couple of days off before a manic end to the week in the form of preaching at our cafe church and taking part in an evangelistic music cafe. Who said half term was a chance for a break?