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Mike Pilavachi: Quality of youth workers fallen dramatically over past 25 years

todayNovember 15, 2022 798

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The author and pastor has been reflecting on the past 25 years and says those working with teenagers aren’t as good as youth workers 25 years ago.

In an in-depth interview with Premier Youthwork, he said: “Generally, the quality of youth workers has gone down dramatically.

November issue of Premier Youthwork magazine


“Loads of youth leaders don’t even know what they believe. And they’re petrified of looking at certain issues – especially sex and sexuality.”

He’s calling on more to be done to stop people leaving you ministry.

“I love the Anglican Church but lots of our best youth leaders are now getting ordained,” he said. “I begged the Archbishop – I went and saw him, and asked: ‘Please could you establish a diaconate for youth leaders?’ We’ve just got to raise the profile of that, otherwise it’s like you do youth work for three years until you’ve practiced with the little people and then you do the proper ministry. We’ve got to break that.”

His comments about quality haven’t gone down well in all quarters of the Church.

Speaking to Premier, Robin Barden, Director of CYM – an organisation training youth workers, said: “It’s quite a sweeping statement and i’m not 100 per cent sure what he means.

“Taken at face value, it certainly doesn’t reflect my experiences with the youth workers that I come across every day.

“I was a youth worker 25 years ago and I can honestly say the youth workers we train are as happy to talk about issues such as sex and the like. In truth they are most probably better prepared than we were 25 years ago.”

Responding on the Premier Youthwork Blog, Martin Saunders from Youthscape defended Pilavachi.

He said: “If you know anything about Mike, you know that he’s passionate about Jesus, and about leaders developing a close personal relationship with him.

“For Mike, a good quality leader is one who is walking alongside and modelling the radical path of Christ to young people. And I think that’s where he sees a decline.”

Written by: Steven Grimmer

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