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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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18 Responses to 955

  1. ordinandy says:

    Genius. And true. True genius in fact.

  2. goodfield says:

    Many a true word spoken in jest!

  3. Chris says:

    I’m going to changea link on my website. It points to a local church I used to do youth work for, time to make it point to here.

  4. beckyw says:

    Why is it that the youth worker will pitch in and help with most things that need doing, but the same can’t be said of others pitching into the youth work when that needs doing?!

  5. bigdaddywhale says:

    Ha ha, yes beckyw! Thanks Jon.
    5 years ago I did start full of possibilities and now on a 3 moth sabbatical so I don’t have a nervous breakdown. :)

    Why is it I’m on worship team rota, preaching rota, sound rota, Childrens rota, teens rota, on every project at every meeting, housegroup, supporting every family, answering the phone at 7:30 am and 10:00pm, showing my face at things on my day off? Why am I the one who on a Sunday, when I’m already leading worship and the teens work, end up also having to do sound because that person decided not to turn up that morning. 1st one there, last one to leave. With 2 year old and a 4 year old crying I hold one while I carry boxes to the car to store in my house as we don’t have our own building. All the time smiling, having the right answer and discipling the youth. While being there for people in crisis, being blamed for youth not coming to church by parents. While no one says how are you?

    Ahh yes, because I’m paid to! Silly me.

  6. Pat says:

    bigdaddywhale :-(
    Hope the sabbatical is a good time-out and that you feel better for it.

  7. jonbirch says:

    i echo what pat says, bigdaddywhale. :-(
    the whole thing gets on my nerves!
    guess it’s time to please less people more of the time.

  8. jonbirch says:

    beckyw… i suspect it’s because people are lazy and clueless and if somebody else’ll do it they’ll just let ‘em… me included. whereas youth workers are often motivated by the need to do something… by nature they are doers. if you couple that with the need to please, it can be a recipe for burnout.
    a few key words and phrases to learn and employ might be:
    go away!
    what did your last slave die of?!
    you have to be kidding, right?!
    i’ve already said no twice!
    read my lips!
    you do it!
    naff off, you irritating git!
    and more…

    think i’ve just come up with another cartoon. :-)

    things perhaps to avoid are:
    i’ll do it then shall i?
    i’d be happy too. (if you wouldn’t be).
    heavy sighing. (that’s just annoying) :-)

  9. Vavavoom says:

    I spent a year doing the Engage course in Christian Youthwork and they didn’t cover the most vital aspect of being a Youthworker: When to say no, and how to do it.

    Most youthworkers see their work as a calling, yet only get short term contacts. This means they have to keep everyone in the church happy so they can get their contract renewed and continue with their calling. But saying yes to everyone takes great big chunks out of you and you stop being you.

    If you are a paid youthworker and you have a contract (and if you don’t then insist on one) then you only have to do what is in the contract, you can say no to everything else, just like anyone else in the church can.

    Many youthworkers end up getting paid less than minimum wage because they do so many extra hours “voluntary”. Legally speaking what they are doing is rarely voluntary because they are expected to do it. I’ve pointed out to two separate churches that they are breaking the law and they basically couldn’t give a …

    Youthworkers are meant to be advocates for young people. Who is the advocate for the Youthworker?

  10. Mike says:

    You are making a good point. It seems that youth work is treated as an afterthought in most churches.

  11. dont get me started on Youthworkers!!!

    I was given the opportunity of supporting a children’s & youth worker a few years ago, the first thing I did was question why they did everything that @5 bigdaddywhale said, what did I receive for that?

    A big fat nothing, I was hung drawn and quartered and I am still treated like shit because of it, the only thing that brings me comfort is I know I did the right thing.

    I think even the victim hated me for bringing it all out into the open which is an interesting concept in itself.

    like I said tho don’t get me started on youthworkers, over and out.

  12. Tinytots says:

    I worked for a church as a youthworker, 4 years voluntary and 3 years paid. The abuse and pressure I suffered caused strains in my marriage and other relationships because the church always had first call on my time. I am no longer a youthworker and have not been for 18 months, although the pain and abuse I suffered is still very real. I started seeing a counsellor recently, which really has helped me understand what happened and we are putting my life back to together and restoring my relationship with God, which the church smashed to pieces. I agree with those above who have already commented that it is vital that you start to say ‘No’. And I would recommend that youthworkers have someone professional from outside the church they work in to talk to on a regular basis, members of the church you work for will always be more loyal to the church than you.

  13. I am sorry you were treated that way Tinytots. x

  14. jonbirch says:

    tinytots… :-( x

  15. jonbirch says:

    goodonya dennis!!!

  16. Nick says:

    as a paid youth worker I agree & echo many of the things said here, however there are some mechanisms out there designed to help us & churches….
    is one – really good way of getting churches to make sure they’ll do what they say they do…

    Also there are retreats for youth workers – my church has just coughed up for me to go to SoulNet next year – went this year and it was totally refreshing, worth it & an awesome break.

    Love the cartoons Jon – used some from your FYT book yesterday on a sermon about the importance of youth :)

  17. Pingback: ASBO Jesus on Youthworkers | JonJolly.com

  18. mmp says:

    gotta kinda feeling that this hassle can be stretched to include all manner of internships plus various other ‘one year renewable pastoral or worship leaders’ as well.

    bigdaddyhwale tinytots and vavavoom are talking from the heart …and i suspect for plenty of others as well, people who feel that they just can’t speak up any more.

    i for one would like to see this whole matter addressed widely in our UK churches

    jon, you are brilliant

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