Last week we had the APCM at church, I had been waiting for this before I felt I could say too much about my thinking on the blog, but now the info is out with that annual report it all become a little easer as it is out there in the public domain anyway.
When I first arrived in Faringdon I was on a three year contract which was then extended for a further two years, this takes my contract until end of July 2009 but for the last year or so I have started thinking about what is next for me. Come that date next year I will have been in full time Church based Youth Ministry for 10 years (all bar a month) and I feel that perhaps I should be heading in a slightly different direction. As many of you probably know I feel passionately about Youth Work in rural churches, I have been frustrated by the focus on Urban Priority areas, not because I begrudge a focus on them but because I have been aware of a need in rural areas that seams to have been overlooked. (There is also a slight sense of irony here as the rural population of Britain is growing faster that any other!)
So I have had this vision for several years to set up a charity (called Not Ashamed, based on Romans 1:16 (I love that verse!) hence my owning the domain notashamed.co.uk) to ‘encourage, enable and equip good quality Youth Work in and through rural Churches’.
At Soul Survivor last year I went to a seminar by Bishop Graham & Jackie Cray called Getting Collard, obviously about ordination, this is again an idea that has been with me for quite some time, and something that had been suggested when thinking and talking about my vision as well. This has started much thinking and praying and as a result I feel I am being called to ordained ministry and that somehow this fits with the Vision, I don’t know how it all fits together, but I truly believe this is where God is calling me at the moment. As a part of this process I have an appointment with the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands) on the 23rd May to help start the process of exploring this calling.
At the same time as all this I am also looking around at what other jobs are around, I don’t know about you but it seams to me there is no one place to look for jobs in youth ministry, there seam to be several and not one that has all
I thought it might be helpful to have a list of places to look for ministry jobs and so at the bottom of this post is what I have got so far and I am sure there are several I have missed, especially any outside of the Anglican church, if you know of others please let me know and I’ll add them.
In the mean time I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers as I look to what the future holds for me and my family.