Many youth workers gathered at the Salmon Youth Centre on Friday 14th 2017 to be part of a conference, held and hosted by Concrete member James Fawcett. Concrete is the name of the network ‘connecting, thinking and amplifying’ Christian youth workers to not only assure them of how to help the young people but to emphasise and remind them how to also help themselves.

Sat amongst the youth workers was the 13th bishop of Woolwich, consecrated on 17th March 2017, Bishop Karowei. He gave up some time after the conference to answer a few questions about what was said in the talk and general life as a Bishop. As a youth worker, you may see many young people suffering from different problems which can cause them to hate and become vengeful.  He stated that “God is a God of love” as well as forgiveness. “Forgiveness is a big issue. Pride interferes with a young person who has been wronged which is dangerous. No one likes the concept of losing, certainly not young people and it is in their nature to act upon that. If they are wronged then they would do their best to become equal, and that is called revenge.” As he went on he spoke about the nature of Christians helping young people. “Without forgiveness, there is no love. Just as they are bound to act upon their earthly nature, we are here to help them live by God’s nature.”  Sometimes it is extremely difficult to follow every rule and keep every law, even without there being pressure beaming down. Is it as challenging as people may find it to ‘practice what you preach’ as a Bishop? Bishop Karowei believes so. “King or Queen, Priest or Bishop, male or female, I am just as much human as everyone else.”

How important is it for the youth to understand, firstly, their worth here on earth and, secondly, their worth under God? This question was asked to Bishop Karowei as well as many other youth workers in sight. The common response was “very important”. Youth workers gave many different answers with one of them being, “Me understanding, both, my worth on earth and worth under God helped me understand that it is what led me to true faith.” Miriam Ngoy, a youth worker from Salmon stated, “There is no way I would be here, strong and alive, let alone being a youth worker helping young people if I had not understood my true worth.”

Bishop Karowei shared his beliefs on this question. He said that this question should apply not only to the youth but also to adults. “We are all members of the body of Christ. Each member is important. Each member is significant.” He justified. “We all must know how important we are to God before we think about our worth here on earth. We would only know our worth through God’s grace.” He stated. “Therefore it is important to know your worth under God. No one is more important than the other.” He followed this through with a Bible verse, John 3:16. “Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. One of the keywords is ‘whosoever’, meaning "any gender, any age, any colour. We are all equal.”

Though there are not a lot of members part of the Concrete organisation, James believes that many youth workers in the UK are on an amazing journey with them bringing Christ to the youth. In the future, the population of Christian youth workers would ideally rise as well as the Concrete community. Being such an informative conference, many more events such as this one, which was a huge success, may happen in the future.

Written by Michael Armartieifo, 16

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