Spotlight-JamesOn the second week of each month we want to highlight one of our students and the amazing work they are involved in. So read on to find out more about what one of our fantastic BCYM students is up to!

Spotlight on CYM 3rd year student James, working in a small rural town in Worcestershire.

“Coming towards the end of the final year at CYM, I have had an opportunity to reflect on the many ways that God has blessed me in my ministry over the past three years. I work in a small town Baptist Church in rural Worcestershire, and prior to starting there as a youth worker the church had never really invested in work with young people. This meant an immense challenge for me but also a great opportunity as I had a blank slate from which to build a youth work programme which would engage with the community. Having no experience of youth work whatsoever before starting there it was a bit of a daunting task. A year in and having set up a couple of projects with great support from the church, I felt that it would be honouring to God for me to train in order to be a more professional youth worker, and I chose Bristol CYM as my place of study.

The course has taught me so much about youth work and theology, having access to some prominent figures in the world of Christian youth and children’s work has been invaluable in allowing me to really understand the role of the youth worker in a church context. However one of the most valuable learning experiences has been the way I have developed over the past three years of study. When I started I wasn’t at all convinced that I would be able to complete a degree course, and time has flown by, now I find myself with four weeks left to complete a 10,000 word dissertation and I’m not panicking… Well not too much anyway. Many of the lessons I’ve learned have been directly applied to my work and even the more challenging lectures and conversations have altered or reinforced my personal beliefs. One of the great things about studying at CYM has been the opportunity to learn from other youth workers and the opportunity to share advice and experiences with other people who understand the good and the bad of Christian youth work.

I’m now looking towards what happens after the course and trying to decide whether to look for a full time role doing youth work in a church, or whether to apply the numerous skills I have been taught in another area of work, from leadership to conflict management to working as a team for social justice, there are so many skills I have learned that are applicable to a multitude of roles and will help me wherever God calls me, and I feel more capable of dealing with whatever challenges lie ahead with the knowledge I have gained over the past 3 years. Churches are not always the easiest places to work and I’m certainly glad of the training I have had from CYM, I’m looking forward to applying these skills in the next place I end up!”

Tune in next month to hear about another one of our wonderful students!