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Christian youth work

youth work

What is Christian youth work composed of? What type of information do we want to convey? What is the special thing about Christian orientated youth work?

Kids today

What do kids today need in order to be equipped for the future? K i d s today can also be spelled like this:

K = Konsum (German for consumer behaviour)

The consumer gods grab at children with their greedy claws. The purchasing power of children in Germany is estimated to be worth over 15 billion Euro (15 000 000 000 €!) per year according to the advertising industry and the economy. Do children really need so many things? They give their hearts away to a thousand things and at the end of the day are still completely unhappy. Result: lost and preoccupied! Stimulus: Concentration on the essential things, devotion instead of greed, sharing frees a person, project assistance for other children throughout the world.

I = Information

A tidal wave of random pictures and noises are displaced in their soul. They are filled up with “pseudo information” with any emotional substance. Result: The thirst and hunger for life remains unquenched. Stimulus: The word of God and a new discovery of the bible through lively sequels of the stories.

D = Disorientation

Their need for values, orientation, harmony and clear behaviour is fundamentally shattered. There is no more reliability. How many hearts are broken when their parent’s marriage is broken up and what happens when lies and deceit, which is an example set by the adult world, sinks in?
Result: Deep loneliness.
Stimulus: Clear values using God’s word, commitment, good examples and group basis.

S = Sehnsucht (German for longing)

The desire for warmth and recognition rules their life. They would give everything to achieve this. Designer items and material goods cannot replace this. They need a group needs conveys a sense of worth, acceptance, security and love. They need the word of God which leads them to clear and reliable orientation. They need an active relationship to Jesus Christ, who takes over the job of friend, healer and saviour in their every day life. That is the special opportunity of the boy’s brigade. The group can be space, an oasis, a work place, an adventure playground, a cosy corner and a comfortable meeting place.

The boy’s brigade is more than a 1 ½ hour entertainment program. It is the chance to maintain relationships, to build up good friendships, to create an imaginative program, to experience conceptions, to meet boys and girls and members of staff who encourage their personal development, to take in the words of God and make them happy girls and boys of Jesus. Dreams can be dreamt and be converted into reality in the brigade. All of God’s gifts are recognised and developed. Authentic role models encourage a personal relationship to the bible so that girls and boys throughout the generations to come will grow up stably and fruitfully with the word of God. Led by the hand of the good shepherds of Jesus Christ, they will face all of life’s hurdles in safety and security and expect his second-coming full of hope.

Rainer Rudolph

Author and source: Rainer Rudolf, Evangelical youth work in Württemberg / Boy’s brigade work. Provided in the German language with kind authorisation for use by Praxis-Jugendarbeit (Youthwork-Practice). Translated into English by Praxis-Jugendarbeit.

The goal /the goals of Christian youth work

The evangelical youth work in Württemberg formulated the definition as follows:
„The special thing about Evangelical youth work lies in its proclamation assignment. This is grounded in its contents of the historical work and life of Jesus of Nazareth and in his resurrection through god. The Evangelical youth work in Württemberg has been given the long-term duty of bringing young people to develop their own belief in Jesus Christ and to use this belief to face diverse tasks present in our world." The comprehensive assignment is surely not only suitable for use by the Evangelical youth work in Württemberg and leads to the following main points:

  • Lead a person toward a personal experience which shows that belief has an effect in all areas of life.

  • Give a reply if someone asks about the meaning of life.

  • Make a community possible.

  • Give a person the confidence to make their own decisions.

  • Help to overcome conflicts.

  • Accept your own sexuality.

  • Look for encounters in which your behaviour towards a partner can be practised.

  • Discover limits and recognise them.

  • Learn to do without.

  • Apply and communicate your own opinions and justify them.

  • School yourself in social responsibility.

  • Have the confidence to be responsibly committed.

  • Be able to differentiate, see, recognise and steer toward/away from something.

  • Allow free space and developments, in which the youths discover their own talents which they can use to enrich and compliment the community.

  • Collect positive experiences which help to reduce any negative feelings in life.

  • Learn to see the world in a new light: the beauty (be happy), the extent (wonder), the hope (be protected),

Source: Evangelical youth work in Württemberg. Provided in the German language with kind authorisation for use by Praxis-Jugendarbeit (Youth work-Practice). Translated into English by Praxis-Jugendarbeit.

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