Five Questions With Martin Saunders

There is a man staring at you. He looks like the sort of man you could trust, a doctor perhaps, or a friendly policeman, or a used car salesman.

Martin Saunders is the editor of Youthwork Magazine, has been involved in youth work for ages now, and regularly updates Twitter despite the fact that unlike the rest of us, he actually has an outlet where people will read what he has to say.

Top Five Favourite French People:

1) Eric Cantona. 2) Can I have Kristin Scott Thomas? She’s not French, but she does French language films. I think it’s amazing that she’s done all these movies where she actually sounds French – at least to me. And then, 3) Vanessa Paradis, I think she’s French Canadian. 4) I love Arcade fire, there we go, that’s loads of them. 5) Marie-Claude Bertillon from French For Today. French For Today was the book we learned from in GCSE French; I always had a bit of a soft spot for… I think it was Marie-Claude, as long as she wasn’t the very small child. So to recap, I liked the older teenage girl – who was a line drawing, I should point out – WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER. At this point Martin is very clear that he liked the teenager when he was a teenager, and at no other point.

Book That As A Christian Minister Influenced You The Most:

Can I be cheesy? Absolutely, my own daily devotional is the source of the best stuff that I do, and I think that there are a load of people out there who are doing really good Christian ministry that’s impacting lots of people, but actually you’ll find they’re not actually finding time themselves to sit down with a Bible, to sit down and pray. I make that rather sweeping comment because a) I have been that person, and b) I have had very senior ‘Christian leaders’ confess the exact same thing to me. And I think it’s really easy to fall into the trap of being so busy that you end up pretending to be doing that sort of stuff. So I know that sounds a bit of a cop out, but you can read all the books you want, listen to all the sermons you like, but actually nothing equips you for having something to say, like doing the hard work yourself and sitting down and reading the bible.

Who Would Win In A Fight, Match Of The Day 1 Or Match Of The Day 2:

I think Match Of The Day 1 because the Match Of The Day 2 team tend to be a bit pudgier and aren’t always professional sportsmen, they have a couple of comedians and people like that on there. I think Hansen would be lethal in a fight. I think Alan Hansen looks like a man who could do serious damage in a fight, whereas Lee Dixon looks like a man who could be very good at running away. Don’t even get me started on Colin Murray.

What’s The Worst Thing In Christian Youth Ministry In The UK Today:

The worst thing is that there are a bunch of denominations and streams (and the youth workers follow suit) , and the leadership of those denominations and streams believe they’re on a personal mission from God which is somehow different and more special than the Matthew 28 commission and therefore excludes you from working in unity, working together, doing stuff, dreaming dreams together. Instead we end up with this fragmented approach. When we could have people working together and we could have a small army, we have loads of little streams of people and they’re all facing a slightly different way, and so it’s fractured.

What’s The Best Thing In Christian Youth Ministry In The UK Today?

I could play the other side of the coin [to the above question] which is when stuff happens in partnership and unity, but I think that’s probably a bit of a cop out. The best thing about youth ministry in the UK is that we have this awesome field of potential right now where society as a whole is realising that the world isn’t as quite as safe and secure as they thought it was and young people aren’t growing up in a nice sort of comfortable reality any more and so the best thing is the field is a little bit more ripe for harvest. People are asking questions they didn’t need to ask before and there’s two sides to that. Because you don’t wish these economic conditions on anyone, especially when it really hurts people, I don’t wish that on anyone. At the same time, with Cameron saying what he’s saying, and with budgets being cut all over the place, there is a huge opportunity for Christian youth work to step in in a couple of different vacuums. A vacuum of provision and a sort of vacuum in people’e hearts, where they are suddenly realising that this society they are part of, this culture they are a part of, doesn’t really have the answers they thought that it had.