The Christian Youth Work Awards 2012 Logo

It has been over a month since my last blog post . . . (which was also, about silence and having nothing to say . . . !)

OK, no longer.  I was – against my better judgement as I don’t really believe in awards – going to nominate something in the “best resource” category for the Christian Youth Work Awards when, unless I have misread the website, I realise that I can’t.  The nominations for this category appear to have been done for me.  I have nothing against the organisations represented in this category . . . it is just frustrating that unless you are a national or international Christian “brand” you don’t get a look in . . . (in every other category, nominations are still open, “Volunteer of the Year”; “Most Innovative Youth Work”; “Best Employer”; “Youth Worker of the Year”.  That’s all great . . . and, “Beauty Cocoon” won it last year . . . which is quality.

Soooo, not sure why:

1.  You can’t just nominate something.  Someone has done that work for us.  Youthwork Magazine maybe?

2.  Every nominee this time round is an organisation, it is a shame that – either: a).  No individuals, just by themselves through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the work they are doing are writing / filming / producing in whatever form great resources for youth work.  b).  They might be, but as nobody has ever heard of them, who is going to nominate them.

3.  We are still stuck in this mindset that when it comes to resourcing youth ministry we must slavishly continue to believe that organisations might know what our unique, crazy, gifted, weird, clever, frustrating and amazing young people might need.   “Alpha” – as some organisation did not write Alpha, someone had an idea, they wrote the bones of what has become a phenomenal resource around the world.  Who was that?  They need a medal – but maybe we will never know who that was / is.  Even Alpha being re-written and adapted and updated was done by individuals rather than by an organisation, can we find out WHO and say thanks to that individual?  The same goes for “Soul Survivor”, “YFC”, “Tearfund”, “Open Doors” . . . what these organisations have done is employ great people who have then produced great content . . . but the brand must be thanked.

Am I hoping for the impossible?  There is a shed load of FREE stuff available to download from all over the world, some of it is produced free by organisations like those mentioned – but so much is produced by individuals.  Individuals who now have the power to produce great material – right here, you know, just online, for free for anyone to download.  Some of them aren’t trying to shore up or support other work they are doing through these resources, some of these individuals don’t need you to come to their events or give them money, or give them your email and contact details – no strings or expectations, no bombarding your inbox – just great free content.

HAD there been space to nominate, as appose to just agree with someone else (that is obviously my problem), I would have liked to nominate this: The Bridge (but, I can’t)

IF there was a nomination process in advance, and for this category the nomination stage is closed – then my apologies for all that has gone before.  My bad.

BUT, if not . . . well, come on lets aim for award categories that are actually open to ALL.