Federation of Detached Workers

At a meeting called by the Federation of detached workers today. Very good and for any detached workers in the voluntary sector well worth checking out.

If you visiting sunday papers looking for the strategy stuff you will find the Meet them where they’re slides under talks and presentations on the right.

If you dont want to wade through the slides here is an abridged version

1. SURVELLENCE -Working out which geographical areas or groups of young people to engage

2 COLD CONTACT. Visual stage where we acknowledge the groups

3 COLD CONTACT. Introductions where we introduce ourselves and the project

4. AREA BASED WORK This is when starting in an area or patch and a wide variety of contacts are being made.

5. PEER GROUP WORK This happens as the work becomes more defined and consists of natural groupings of young people. This stage is often where larger groups are identified usually around a shared interest. e.g. football or hanging out and may be too many work with or inconsistant attendance.

6. BASIC SMALL GROUP WORK As key young people are identified the work should be forward to this stage. This group is made up from the groups that exist within the larger peer group.

7. RISKY SMALL GROUP WORK This is about taking calculated risks to move the work and relationships forward such as 1-1 work, a relaxing , perhaps having a meal with the young people etc. However this is not about putting yourself or the young people at risk.

8. EXPOSURE AND EXPLORATION OF SPIRITUALITY AND ISSUES Young people should be introduced to aspects of spirituality in practical supportive ways. It can range from events to raise their consciousness of Bigger things, e.g. watching the sunrise, exploring creation, to going to an event. The worker should explain some of the things that may happen at events and translate what is happening at the event and use the opportunity to explore spiritual issues in a supportive way.

9. PEER EDUCATION WORK AND/OR RELATIONAL BASED EXPRESSION OF CHURCH This refers to supporting the young people in local churches or relevant groups, and developing new groups based around the young people developing their own expression of a discipleship group with the worker. For young people not interested in this it is vital that as part of good professional practice contact is continued and developed and often this can take the form Peer education work or responding with the young people on local issues.

Between each stage there are tools or mechanisms that enables work to progress from stage to stage. These are varied and depend on the interests of the young people you are working with it could be kite flying, sports, hobbies, issues explored, trips etc Anything you do as group together that helps the relationships deepen.
It is possible to identify the groups you are working with and guestimate where you are on the development plan. From there decide where you wish the group to be in six months time and how you propose to get there, e.g. explore doing a residential. This enables you to gauge your progress in some way.

Taken from Meet them where They’re at

Mission and Inclusion

I have been discussing with a student, issues around Mission and Inclusion. On further reflection the issues for inclusion when we have a Kingdom based approach are vast. Impacting practice and theology around church, language and choice(see last post), mission etc. It can be hard to remember when at the coalface of trying to get involved with God in building the kingdom, that it is already here. This dual paradigm, and living as an in-between people has all sorts of issues. For a long time I have been trying to grapple with the issues of inclusion and kingdom, and it is still so easy to forget the God given image that young people maintain in their DNA. How far this may be a key to working in this kingdom which is now and not yet. I am wondering if we might borrow from education theory which has two basic approaches; banking knowledge or drawing out learning. Much of our history of mission sees banking as the way, inputting the gospel story (or evangelical theological takes on it) and then seeing young people respond. How much can we draw out the image of God within? Some traditional evangelical language talks about people having “a God shaped hole in their life”. Maybe we can turn this on its head, and see young people as having a small God shaped light already in their life and our role is to encourage that to shine into the rest of their life. A helpful metaphor???

Choice and faith

When we are working with people to look at issues, it seems to be increasingly important for people to maintain a sense of control over decisions made and this is the basis of all good one to one work. Yet when we talk about choosing to become a Christian we use language such as giving over you life to God. This can lead to people seeing faith as something that will have the effect of changing them reguardless of what they think or their part in the process and thus for some becomes a stumbling block.
Do we need to think more about our language in contemporary society and encourage people to see that the choice is theirs and resides with them. They have the choice to change and God will take their loaves and fishes and do with it as S/He will, but that following God and the changes that result are always dependent on our choosing to bring forward the loaves and fishes each day.


“I love it when a plan comes together” said Hannibal of the A team. I love it when suddenly things seem to come together in a way you don’t expect. I don’t about you but I often have my head down plugging away, working away on a project and seeking to make things happen and slowly unaware to you God is doing the same. You reach the end of your efforts and God starts to unleash THE plan and opens a new way forward.


Been doing quite a bit of networking and traveling recently. Keep hearing great stories and meeting people doing creative things with concepts of church, youth work, detached stuff all sorts. Many of the people who I met have never heard of fresh expressions, emerging church etc, or read any of the books, some people may have come across bits and pieces but the great thing is that they are proactive and responding in ways that are not just following what they have heard others doing but following God into new missionary activity.