Thursday, 1 January 2015

Archbishop of Canterbury Addresses Youth Workers

This was initially recorded as part of the Youth Work Conference 2014 where I was a team member on the live blogging team. The conference is a great place to meet other youth workers, hear some inspired words and be challenged in a safe environment. I had never heard the Archbishop speak live before, shocking eh and as I have never been part of an anglican community I wasn't quite sure what to expect. However this session was a highlight of the conference for me so here you go you can read it as I experienced it ...

Morning you beautiful beings! This morning we will be joined by the brilliant Justin Welby and I will be sharing his words of wisdom here for you to reflect on and join in the conversation.
(This is live so sorry for any mistakes!)
Currently there is some sung worship happening on the main stage "then sings my soul ..."
'The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love would not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated'
Big cheer for Justin as he takes to the stage ...
Time for a selfie!
Taking a moment of prayer, time to pray for the hostage murdered last night Abdul-Rahman Kassig, please join us in praying for his family.
'Wave if you have paid for yourself to be here?' - Justin says you shouldn't of! Take back to your church that if churches are taking youth work seriously they should pay for youth workers to access the conference. 'We can't do it on the cheap!' the crowd are whooping!
Justin has thanked us for what we do, highlighting that some of us will of come here encouraged, others will of come here feeling burnt out. Youth work is essential (AMEN) but the reality is hard work and too many statistics show we are NOT making much progress. friends you are the key element, the point people at the front line but if you can't do it then it can't be done but with Christ we believe it can be done!
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Justins grandad was in the army. He shares about the difference between peace time and war time recruitment.
In war time our goal is to serve, win and be prepared to die!
in our ministry are we in war or peace? Do we exist to make life better for young people, is that the total aim. or do we exist to liberate the world from sin and evil at any cost? There is a difference. How we view this affects how we work
Reconciliation, hope, life, joy!
Economics - there are no quick fixes, materialism has failed. In no time in the foreseeable future will be seeing rapid increases in income or economic gain. Most of the working lives of those we work with with be totally different from the generations that have gone before. Inequality will get greater, so what values and foundations will there be to give us justice and liberty and genuine human flourishing?
We have forgotten about community.
Becoming a Christian will not make your life better! It will give you need to be ready to be crucified and that friends is the GOOD NEWS
Justin is cracking some banter about his chaplain.
Becoming a Christian will give you more problems but Jesus will be with you!
We are facing the most challenging time since 1945, persecution is increased, religious violence has increased. We are facing the biggest challenge of our time 'What is truth?' but what could be more wonderful then bringing a generation into the knowledge of the truth of Jesus?
The church is on the ropes statistically. We are post denominational, people come to Christ not to a denomination but we are not post spiritual friends! (this got an applause).
We see huge areas of life and growth, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Bonhoeffer quote - 'the ultimate questions is not how the extricate yourself heroically from the affair but how the coming generation will live'
Are we meeting with Christ day by day by day? Is your prayer life active? Are you engaging with God?
Justin was at an international meeting on finance and required to say something theological, spiritual aspects to tie up what the others had shared. 1st guy talks on the essentials and says the most foundational thing is prayer, knocking out what Justin was going to share. 2nd guy says he is spending 20 mins a day in contemplation. Do you encounter Jesus regularly and pray through the name of your youth group and youth leaders? Justin challenges us all to pray, worship, live in community. Pray and community go together! Communities of prayer change the world.
know your weaponry, if we are training for war know your weapons. Peacemaking is essential. Be assured of your salvation, not because of what you have done and all because of what Jesus has done. Do you know that? Assurance of salvation liberates us from condemnation which in turn frees us to impact the world. Dream and imagine in community what the world could be. What could a reconciled church to God look like?
The principle of the NHS and Welfare state came from prayerful people. There is nothing wrong with dreaming if we dream in the spirit.
Recruit those who will serve the king. We might not always know the answer to the big questions but we can know who does know and that is Jesus. To serve Jesus is not to ensure that we don't suffer but rather to know that we are not alone in our suffering. Jesus has already been there and knows suffering and persecution.
Would we be satisfied if we had only God?
God does the work, he goes ahead and moves people. We just seal the deal. Know what the message is that you are trying to explain? Can you explain why you are a christian? Be the challenge and be challenging. Have your story and be true! If its not about Jesus its a waste of space! We don't qualify by being good youth workers but the grace of God HAS been poured out in massive measures already.
Train
Know the weaponry
Recruit the troops
BOOM!
Chris, Justins chaplain is now on the stage and there is some great banter between them. Beautiful to see the normality!
Questions are being asked and answered now so see Chris' blog for these later ...

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