The Covenant started as an idea in the UK in 2007 through conversations with youth workers about the experience of working in a church. All felt passionate about working with young people and committed to serving the churches that were paying them, but their experiences of being supported were mixed. Often it was simply because churches weren’t aware of some of the pressures and issues the youth workers faced.
Talking and praying together, the idea of a Covenant was formed along with a set of promises that would both challenge and inspire churches to think about better practices. In 2009, Youthwork, a collaboration of organizations committed to working together to resource and inspire Christian youth work in the UK, and Amaze, the first professional body for Christian youth and children’s workers in the UK, officially launched the Covenant and accreditation process. Since that time, the response to the Covenant has been overwhelming and has been adopted across multiple denominations and parachurch organizations in the UK.
In the summer of 2010, conversations were begun by Youth Ministry leaders in New England to bring the Covenant to the US. After a year of introducing the idea of the Covenant to youth workers around the country, as well as some crucial planning and development, We Love Our Youth Worker US was launched in the summer of 2011 with the plan to open an accreditation process in early 2012.
A process to develop a Canadian version was also started in early 2011, and since then several other countries are working on developing this Covenant for their particular cultures as well.
Our dream is that every church all over the world, including those already doing a great deal to support their youth worker, would find the experience of accreditation helpful.