15 things I love about the StreetSpace Community of Practice

1. They help me with my spelling
2. We have a laugh
3. They hold me to account, and most have no problem telling me whats what.
4. They are not too quick to label themselves a movement
5. We share, experience, stories, hopes, dreams and a generosity of spirit.
6. We gathered from Scotland to Southsea
7. The creativity is amazing,- practical and ideas wise
8. The gathering tried different ways to include those who couldn’t be there
9. We have a vicar who knows Wu Tang Clan, and another growing church in a coffee shop that used to be where Two Tone records were based
10. People have no problem with disruptive experiences.
11. We apprentice one another
12. When we gather, unless you know you cant tell who is paid and who is voluntary
13. People read stuff, write stuff and ground it.
14. They don’t take the easy road, and they make sacrifices for others and their communities.
15. If you asked me what does it look like to have a heart for young people on the edge I could say look at any one of our projects!

read up on Community of Practice HERE

Feedback On Change – Learning and Money

A process of change – Gradual Natural and chosen by young people, then Awareness of Problems, Seek Discernment about which battles to take on, Include YP with the process. Get on with it and Be the change you want to see – Internal and Outward change is vitally connected and we need both sometimes – Do we think ourselves into a new of acting or Act ourselves into a new way of thinking.

Do our methods of learning passively undermine our intention?
Balance and tension
How we live amongst people in a way that promotes learning and inclusion in what we are doing.
Authentic about the intention of learning with young people being open about this with the

Position being flexible about what we communicate with authenticity? Wording and
StreetSpace to do some research into value of city centre youth work, perhaps with the O2

Social media

Here we identified 4 questions or areas to discuss around Social Media
– Good Practice
– Can social media change the world
– How can encourage YP to use social media in a positive way
– Communication with young people via social media

The feedback was joined up so we will be writing up and revising our policy guidance around it. But if you want to see the pictures of the groups, they are uploaded on facebook.

Our final words of advice from the groups are:

– Should all conversations be recorded on the internet, and if so do we need to relook at all one-2-one work and safeguarding?

– Do viral clips (like KNOY 2012) work because of messages or the medium. To go viral and be engaging it either needs to be authentic or really high production quality – what’s in the middle space

– Power is being recaptured by the powerful in the online space.

Updated policies will be made available to the network soon.


First Theme being explored Mysticism – 4 Areas
Language – needs to develop out of the experience of the young person and find their own language. – Use symbolism to bridge the gap between language and experience
How we do we encourage our own spirituality to encourage others? – we need to develop our own awareness, practice disciplines etc
Find the Thin places in ourselves, and the environment
Bigger than ourselves and need to be open to the new and different
Gender and Spirituality – Value physical Spirituality, awareness of our own gender baggage, and this

StreetSpace Mysticism – Young people are god bearers and spiritual beings not a deficit model. Draw on shared experiences and could this help us develop some common language but allow us our diversity
Wu Tang Clan 43rd Chamber and taking detached work to level 5.

The Gathering Part one

This weekend I am at the StreetSpace Gathering. It is a coming together of about 35 people from across the network with 18 of the 36 projects represented. The whole event is developed using a participative processes. Last night we kicked off with a pictionary ice breaker (draw an activity you do the others dont know you do). The aim is to encourage an equality across the group and not go for the I am XX with this many young people in our contact etc.

We then used a random word generator to spark a creative thinking process as the begininng for the themes we will discuss as a group over the weekend. The Random words were:
– Turntable
– Leaflet
– Mystic
– Passive
Each table mind mapped the words and then people swapped tables to gather the wisdom from the other.
We ended up with three themes we will discuss as a whole group this morning:
– How do we develop mysticism and next level spirituality with young people?
– Social media – Practical advice, Benefits, and Communication
– Being Authentic Us and Others
We also developed a further 6 themes we will use in break out groups.
– Values
– Mentoring Peacemakers
– Change what does it mean?
– Learning Passive and Active – How do you build emotional intelligence in an active learning style/ with chaotic yp
– Money
– The Balance Mission/Personal/Professional

Incarnation and Disruptive experiences

Last week in after reflecting on Petes interview and our practice around TAZ (check out Kester), Flow and our approaches around being and growing church, that collapse the idea of the idea of mission as a bridge into church I tweeted

“The process of being and growing church should be a disruptive experience that is a series of encounters with the other”

I have been thinking for a while how we are so fixed in our own paradigms that we often take an approach and deceive ourselves that we are using it as intended. A classic example is Messy Church – where people so often use it as an outreach tool into ‘proper’ church. They think they are doing something different but when pushed will not leave established services to free up time to invest in being and growing church in the Messy context.
It is interesting to look at incarnational youth work and how this spawned notions of relational youth ministry – much of which was simply a tool like youth alpha or a youth club to get young people into ‘proper’ church. As such when Pete suggests there does have to be an IN he is right.
However when we think around incarnational youth work to be and grow church (and to help us discover what the church and gospel actually are as we encounter others) there is no in. In order to make this a reality this needs to embrace both the relational nature of the incarnation and the disruptive. This is not a new to my thinking Here I wrote that faith is about the redemptive processes that consistently ruptures our worldview (inc our faith paradigm) and is a series of revolutionary moves that form and shape a new (at the time) but growing (in hindsight) understanding of God.

At the moment I am very hopeful of the work going on around the openness to genuine change both around the missionary encounter with other (Ian Adams posted a series of quotes from Christianity Rediscovered that got people talking) and to changes in the liturgical space Pete mentions that Ikon experimented with. The challenge to not allow the gravitational pull to suck us back remains, and we need to counter this by asking mission/kingdom shaped questions rather than church shaped ones.