Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Who makes a good youth worker?
I was in training for working with at risk kids a couple weeks ago. The trainer was experienced in both church youth work and thereputic systems. This training was some of the best that I had in working with teens. Throughout the two week training we had some dialogues about different aspects of teens. One of the questions I asked him was who makes a good youth worker? It was a question I had asked myself many times while being in church ministry. When I asked the question the trainer smiled and wrote this on the white board: selfless and selfish. He went on to explain in his experience and knowledge about teens there are two types of people in this world selfish people - who only think about themselves, and selfless people- those who think about others. He said that anyone who has some degree of selflessness makes good youth workers. I was thinking youth workers needed some sort of skill and some natural bend toward teens, but in reality it is true. Anyone who is willing to give of their time, listen, comfort, and genuinely care can make good youth workers. The most important thing that I learned through this training is that the number 1 skill when working with at risk kids is myself. I can learn programs, I can learn descalating techniques, and I also learned restraints, but when it comes down to it either I can be selfish or selfless. The one that I choose is going to determine if I am successful in working with teens. Of course when choosing a mate, friend, a new place to work, employee etc it is good advice to also pick the one who is selfless.
Posted by Ben Polhemus at 8:41 AM