I'm just back from the intriguingly named ISCF "weekend" (which runs Monday to Wednesday!). it was an interesting time as I was there with two of my fellow youthworkers from the local area as the RESPONSIBLE ADULTS. We had no role in planning the event (except for viewing some of the plans and giving some advice on risk assessments, first aid, registration, medical forms and the like) and then during the weekend two of us had no real job except existing and, at certain times, being available for prayer ministry. The idea is that the event is run BY the young people FOR the young people. They had booked some outside speakers but aside from that they ran the band, check in, night time registration, games and Bible devotions.
Now I must say I approached the "weekend" with some trepidation as I really didn't know what I was going to be asked to do all day. I took some work with me because there are few things I really need to get done at the moment (3 annual reports for a start!!). I also took my felt pens and did some artwork during the talks.
What was interesting was the difficulty of balancing being there and available but not crowding the yougn people. We tended to sit near the back - and yes, SIT - so that the young people could worship together as a group. We joined in some of the games but some entailed rather too much physical contact for us to join in. When you RUN games like that it's not a problem but not being the person running the game, it looks odd that you don't join in. Eventually we just said why we weren't and they accepted in mostly (especially as we joined in some of the other games - two of them new to me which was great!)
I must say I was privileged to spend some time praying with some of the teenage girls and the Holy Spirit was very empowering to me and, I hope and trust, to them. I also had great fun over meal times and at other times with some of the lads. Ok so the two days also included a trip to casualty BUT the young person in question was triaged and then treated within 30 minutes! A Tuesday afternoon in half term seems to be a good day to get injured!
There was also a great video which one of the speakers used which I'll pop up in a sec!
So what do we think about youth led events when we take the back seat?
Are we as youth workers sometimes unable to sit back?
Should we do so more?