The Britpop approach to Youth Work
In the midst of the euphoria of Britpop, the lyric that sticks with me comes in Blur’s ‘Country House’ where Damon Albarn declared that he was ‘A professional cynic but my hearts not in it,’ and somehow that always tends to be my approach to youth work.
I tend to be incredibly cynical about a lot of things and it takes a lot to get me excited. Then I went to the Youth Work Awards, and heard stories of youth workers from across the country reaching hundreds of young people in fresh, exciting innovative and powerful ways. Stories that inspire us are vital in youth work, not only to remind ourselves why we do what we do, but also to refresh ourselves with new ideas and creative expressions in the youth work world.
The cynical side of me doesn’t like hearing about youth work for the sake of it, but instead to be excited by stories of what God is doing. The cynical side of me isn’t interested in hanging out with youth workers purely because they are youth workers, but instead to equip the whole lot of us to bring Christ to as many young people as possible. The cynical side of me really doesn’t want to like the Youthwork Summit. It wants to balk against it, thinking of it as twee and self-congratulatory, but my heart just isn’t in my cynicism. My heart is in seeing young people’s lives transformed, in heading others stories to make the youth work that I do better. Looking at the programme for the Youthwork Summit my immediate response is one of the excitement rather than cynicism, which I find really quite odd, but surprisingly affirming.
I’m going to be there to be surprised and inspired by stories of what God is doing around the country. Hopefully I’ll see you there, you’ll pass my cynicism on the way in.
Jamie Cutteridge is Youthwork magazine's editorial intern.