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The Heart-Breaking Side of being a Long-Term Youth Worker

I’m a huge advocate for youth ministry as a long-haul vocation, rather than a one-stop ride on the way to ‘proper’ ministry. We’ve got to dig in, get comfortable, and prepare for a real journey. There is, however, a darker side to being in it for the long haul, one we don’t often talk about […]

Premier Digital Finalist for the 3rd Year!

It’s really exciting and humbling to be going to the Premier Digital Awards again this year, after being shortlisted as a finalist for both the ‘Most Inspiring Leadership Blog’ and ‘Multi-Author Blog of the Year’ categories. Huge thank you to everyone who nominated Youth Work Hacks, and a big thanks to Premier Digital for recognizing […]

The other ‘other’ side of mental health

There are few health-related topics receiving as much media attention at the moment as mental health, and rightly so. It’s been a tragically misunderstood and vastly under-resourced part of human conditions for years. The NHS says that one in four adults and one in ten children will experience mental health problems, however only a small […]

Living with insomnia as a youth worker

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with sleep. Most nights I’ll drift off nice and easily, but then I’ll wake up at the smallest sound, and usually I’ll be wide awake by about 3am, only to have my tiredness return by 7am. This is always fun. When I’m asleep I grumble, […]

When youth ministry meets real life – an excerpt from Rebooted

The following is a small excerpt from my book, Rebooted, which was released a week ago. This is the section – which comes from Chapter 5: ‘Youth work through the Prophets’ – that was read by my wife, Katie, at the official launch. Hope you find it helpful! Youth work is not always pretty, it […]

Is Bonhoeffer really the ideal role model for youth ministers?

Recently I wrote a critique of Andrew Root’s approach to incarnational youth ministry, to which he graciously responded. In many ways, however, Root’s understanding of the Incarnation is not his own. The ghost of Dietrich Bonhoeffer walks each and every page. Even the phrase Root uses, place-sharer, is Bonhoeffer’s (Stellvertreter). Root said that Bonhoeffer’s part […]

Youth Work and the Novelty Trap

Today I spent a good twenty minutes choosing a doorbell tone from a selection of sixty-five different tunes. Some were famous hits by Abba and the Carpenters (two of my least favourite bands), and an uncomfortable amount were Christmas songs. Asking for a basic doorbell tone seemed to be far too much to hope for. […]

Youth Work and the Gravity of the Bible

When I was growing up, my brother was big into mountain biking. He made his own bikes, had all the right gear, and wore ‘biker’ clothing. One of his t-shirts had a picture of an upsidedown guy who had just fallen off his bike with the caption: ‘GRAVITY. I fought the law, but the law […]

It’s publication month for Rebooted!

This last year has been a dizzying ride, however it’s finally coming – the publication month for my book Rebooted: Reclaiming Youth Ministry For The Long Haul – A Biblical Framework.   Thank You! I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been involved. Without the loving support of my friends […]

Helping your child process their test results – Kirsten Witchalls

A short helpful set of thoughts on test results by Careers Adviser, Kirsten Witchalls. Kirsten is also the wife of Alan Witchalls from Video Bible Talks – make sure you check them out!   I am at GCSE results day in my role of a Careers Adviser. My role is the difficult one of picking […]

7 Ways to lead people who are older than you – on LeadAnyone

I first wrote this for the excellent blog, early last year. However, with the new term approaching and lots of youth workers changing and starting new jobs, I thought it might be some timely help to someone. You can read the original here. “Who on earth does this kid think he is?” This, I […]

What has Star Wars got to do with youth and children’s work? – On YCW Blog

First published on Premier Youth and Children’s Work Blog here. As a classically trained Anglican, it’s very hard for me to hear “may the Force be with you” without then mumbling back in dulcet tones, “and also with you.” During chapel services it is even harder to refrain from humming the ‘Imperial March’ theme as […]