Tuesday, May 08, 2007

One year in...

So last week saw me complete my first year with WPC - hard to believe! The year has gone incredibly fast and so i still feel incredibly new to the role but yet at the same time i feel very settled in the church with lots of very strong relationships as if i have been here for many years! With all that has gone on in the last couple of weeks i haven't had much time to reflect on the last year as my thoughts are still very much with Alain and both family circles. However, i did have to complete a report for church leadership which forced me to reflect and evaluate to some degree.

I have to say it was an encouraging process as i considered the progress of youth ministry in the church in the last 12 months. The most encouraging things are as follows:
  • Passionate and enthusiastic leaders. When i started, several youth leaders 'retired' from service and the remaining few were a bit disillusioned and tired. The last year, especially since Christmas, has seen this change dramatically. We now have a group of 18 leaders (some came back from retirement!) who are passionate and enthusiastic about the youth ministry in church!
  • Young people growing in faith. We have a fantastic group of young people in church who are passionate about engaging with God through WORSHIP and hungry to hear what God is saying to them through the TEACHING OF GOD'S WORD. This such an exciting place for me and the rest of the leaders to be.
  • Youth work outside of church. This was started from scratch last summer with detached youth work and has now developed into a drop-in centre that opens 3 afternoons and 2 evenings per week. We have 9 leaders involved and have contact with approximately 40 different young people and the centre has around 250 users each month. I was also involved in running a Youth Alpha group with 8 lads which was a fantastic experience.
  • Church family. I have been made very welcome at WPC from the outset which has made it a joy to build relationships. I have found the people in this family very encouraging to me directly (on a personal and professional level) with both their words and actions, and also indirectly as i watch people seeking to live out their faith in a way that makes a difference to those around them.
So what are the hopes for the next year? That's a really difficult question! Yes i want to see the ministry grow so that we have contact and relationships with more young people. Yes i want to see new areas of ministry develop so that we don't stagnate and just do the same things. However, I can honestly say that i am more excited about youth ministry now than i have ever been, so above all i want to feel as encouraged in May 2008 as i do now which will come from the 4 things highlighted earlier:
  • passionate leaders
  • young people growing in faith
  • progress with youth work outside of church
  • encouraging church family.
Check back in 12 months time for another evaluation!

11 comments:

Craig McKeown said...

Neilo

I'm sure I speak on behalf of all of the leaders in thanking you for all of your work over the last year. Your enthusiasm and committment has been inspirational not only to the students but to the leaders as well. Every Friday night is a blessing and the highlight for me was definitely the Castlewellan retreat - an amazing time of fellowship and worship! Far from letting things stagnate we are committed to and excited about what God has planned for youth work, both inside and outside of the church, in Waringstown this year and will support you in following the vision He has given you.
Finally, I hope that you will also be able to find some time to practice that tin whistle!! ;-)

charlie said...

Brilliant mate. Glad to hear its going so well!

Bec McCready said...

I think your great Neil, you're doing such a great job... we miss you at cell though!!

Ivonne said...

It is inspiring to hear someone talking so passionately and enthusiastically about their JOB! Good stuff. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Glad you feel welcom at WPC. I know that I speak for alot of people when I say that Friday night is the highlight of my weak and that I realy look forward to fusion and 20/20 each weak.

john heasley said...

It is very easy to concentrate on what we haven't done, its really good to read about someone doing, knowing he is doing and that he is going to do. Ta, God bless

Brian Heasley said...

So good to see you love your Job, hope the next year is superb, the outside youth work sounds great.

Anonymous said...

wow, Neil you have been here a year! whoohoo to you! seems like you were always part of the Church! Its been a fantastic year, thanks for all the hard work! Its paid off ;)

J-Mac said...

You're doing a strirring job young fella!

J-Mac said...

You're doing a strirring job young fella!

Anonymous said...

new post please!!