Q&A: A Youth Worker’s Perspective

Q&A: A Youth Worker’s Perspective


An urban youth pastor comments on the passions and insecurities of young Irish people today.

Q: What words or phrases describe today's Irish teenagers and young adults? 01

The older generation, a lot of times, thinks youth aren’t passionate. They think youth are kind of lazy or [that] you can’t really trust youth. But I do think when youth get behind something, they are passionate.

Now, finding that thing and encouraging them to get passionate about it can be a real challenge. Youth today in Ireland are very influenced by social media. We’re moving to a point where we search for validation constantly. Youth are constantly searching for “likes” or just people to affirm what they are doing and what they’re saying. So there’s this pull away from them being able to just say, “This is my identity; this is who I am,” because they’re always seeking that approval of others.

Q: What makes you hopeful about the future of Christianity with young people? 02

The genuine passion for a lot of social issues among youth makes me excited. There are a lot of youth who, if you give them a cause, are like, “Woo! I want to go and do something about that.” And I think that’s super cool. That’s encouraging, and it aligns really well with what Jesus was about.

Q: What resources do you find to be most helpful in your ministry work? 03

There’s not a lot of Irish material. I think if there [were] more culturally Irish material, that would be cool. I would definitely use that. As far as materials go, I write a lot of my own stuff.

My relationship with other youth workers is a big support. District Methodist youth workers started meeting sometimes, and we’ll just chat. “How did you do? And how does that work?” … Just picking other people’s brains is really probably my most valuable resource.

Q: What would you like to change or influence in today's young Christians? 04

I just see youth struggling to find identity, struggling to find approval in the eyes of friends or in the eyes of the world. And I see God just looking at them with such love. And I want them to know that when we find our identity in Him, we’re really set free.

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