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Four in ten paid youth workers 'struggle' to worship in their church

Mon 20 Jul 2015
By Marcus Jones

Around 40% of paid youth workers admit to struggling to worship in the church in which they serve.

New research by Premier Youthwork Magazine has found thousands are choosing to worship with different congregations or are making extra effort to meet up with fellow youth leaders and attending retreats.

The figures contrast with volunteer youth workers, of whom 72% said it was 'moderately' to 'very' easy to worship in their own church.

Writing in this month's edition of the magazine, Ruth Bennett from charity Youthscape labelled the issue a "problem". She said: "If Christian youth workers find it difficult to worship in their own church, how do they grow spiritually?

"What do they do to nurture their faith? Is the local church failing in their duty to youth workers?"

Ruth Bennett puts the "problem" down to professionalisation and the idea that many youth workers aren't keen to make themselves look vulnerable in front of employees so they don't fully embrace worship in their churches.

Speaking to Premier, she said: "It's particularly important for youth workers because we are responsible, to some degree, to a whole load of young people.

"If we are not being real about the struggles that we have and the challenges that we have and the doubts that we have within our own faith - how can we expect young people to be real with us.

"I think it's absolutely crucial that we do that and model to young people by example."

Listen to Ruth Bennett speaking to Premier's Marcus Jones:

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