I'm not quite shore why it takes people so long to realise that if your church does not do effective youth ministry, then it will die. Statistics reflect the reality that God more often than not uses a person's teenage years to call people to follow him. In Youth Ministry we can see a rich harvest of changed lives for the gospel. In light of this, one assumes that youth ministry must be both a financial and structural priority for a church. If things get tight, as they can do in the current economic climate, then other things should be cut first.

This is why it is with some sadness (although after some run ins with the diocese it is really hard for me to be concerned by/care about the things they do) that I have received two emails over the last week announcing the Diocese has slashed Youth Ministry funding and positions. First of all I found out that the only Diocesan Youth Officer has had his role reduced from 6 days to 3.5 days. I don't think the job got any smaller... he just has less days to do the same thing... Clearly Youth Ministry will suffer for this. Then today I read about the winding up of "Project Generate" (which I was skeptical about but thought it was good the Diocese was at least having a go) also due to financial reasons. This project was meant to be a way of better reaching out to young people. As soon as things got tight however, it seems the Diocese thought that wasn't important anymore.

Now before anyone accuses me of anything I didn't mean, I will say that I am unaware of what other cuts the Diocese is making. I'm sure/I hope there are others and it's not just Youth Ministry taking the fall. But I can't help but imagine the power behind Bishops and Arch-Deacon's (and whatever other forms of hierarchy there are in our church) taking pay cuts to keep youth ministry outreach fully funded and well resourced in the Diocese during difficult times. That would be a church worth getting excited about!