We believe that central to all youth work are the relationships you create. We don’t try to justify the relationships we make? We don’t think you need a reason for your relationships?
As a youth worker my primary role is to develop relationships with young people. I am commanded to build trusted relationships. It is that simple.
But in order to gain funding for this work I am told to justify my relationships:
To make something else happen
Was the young person changed
To make up numbers
Did they achieve something
The list goes on. But the youth worker’s skill is in building relationships. The other side of building relationships is the outcome, which might be one of the list above. We need to concentrate on building relationships not outcomes.
From a Christian perspective, Jesus had an agenda to help people see the kingdom of God had arrived, but he left the choice up to them. Our relationships with young people can have a profound effect on them but it is their choice. Our basic requirement is to develop those relationships and not to prove our need based on achievements. We need to develop relationships where young people are valued, safe and they find time to be themselves and if on that journey they find Jesus, excellent. If not, the relationship is still valuable.
Be passionate about the work you do and what you achieve but don’t allow yourself to enter into the culture of outcomes and targets.