Friday, October 21, 2005

Discussion: One of the Lads

There's an awful lot in each of our posts so we're going to try to draw out some suggested discussion points from eah topic. Please feel free to add more.

If most of the books on youth ministry are written by men, is it appropriate for us as female practitioners to follow the models of ministry which they present?

What models of ministry are there for women working with young people and especially in their work with teenage boys?

What can we learn from male youth ministers and what can male youth ministers learn from us?

Are there specific times when it is better for a youth minister of a different gender to work with a young person?

How much do we have to have in common with the young people we minister to?

Can female youth ministers empathise with teenage boys?

How has the change in gender roles affected the way we minister to young people?


alice said...

As a female youthworker who finds it hard to build relationships with lads, I think the stag relationship and getting involved are probably key. As someone who naturally talks to girls (and occasionally lads) who are sat out on the side or involved in quieter activites, I don't natuarlly build relationships with the majority of the lads. I think my personality and confidence both relate to this, but is there something I (and we) can learn from male youth leaders? I find myself asking the question - how do I become a stag? I honestly don't think I can. Perhaps it is too big a jump for me right now. I think one thing I could and should do, is make an effort to is play football and to join in with them. I'm not sure that they would like to have me on their team though - they take it all rather seriously!
I keep asking what can I learn from my male leaders, but I feel that personality has a lot to do with it, and their style is not mine. Perhaps I need to find a male leader who is similar to me - an introvert - then I could learn from him.
This question of what can we learn from male leaders is challenging - and I want to learn. But can I learn something and still be myself?

Good article and questions Sarah!

Amanda said...

This was a really interesting article Sarah. I have got a couple of things buzzing around in my head, so apologies if they don't come out in the most coherent way.

Firstly, I am not sure what my thoughts are on the femininisation of our culture. I think it is a very confusing time for adolescents of both sex as, on the one hand, girls are outperforming boys at school etc and on the other hand, a lot of powerful positions (including roles in many churches) are still dominated by men. And I am not sure that the rise of single parent families suggests that men are no longer required (bearing in mind that most, but certainly not all single parents are women) Does it not also suggest that women are left 'holding the baby?' Is this empowering or is not often the opposite? What affect do these role models have on the rising generation? I am not sure that it is taking away power from males and giving it to females.

With regard to families with single mums with boys, I personally feel that this is one of the areas that benefits from having a male youth worker involved. In some of these situations, the teenage boy often has a lack of strong male role models in his life and could possibly benefit from having a male youth worker providing a model to him (including the way to treat women!)

Sorry that this is muddled - will comment again if it makes no sense or I have missed the point.