Full Focus PNG Children’s Ministry Intensive 2013

18 Feb

Sydney Anglicans have long been blessed by faithful youth and children’s ministries. Through their many resource divisions (but perhaps particularly through their regional advisors and Youthworks College), Youthworks has had a major impact on both how and why we do Children’s and Youth Ministry. Today, Sydney has some of the best trained and resourced workers in the world.

At St George North, we have seen the benefit of Children’s and Youth ministry. We now have a thriving ministry full of young people who love and serve Jesus and want others to know about him. And more and more people are coming to know him. Ultimately, we must thank God for growing his kingdom and maturing his children. At the same time, it is no coincidence that St George North has strong links with Youthworks. Brendan, Troy, Sarah and Jana are all graduates of Youthworks College. We pass on our training to the leaders who serve each week. Many of the resources and training programs we use week in/ week out are produced by Youthworks Publishing. A growing number of our school leavers are participating in the Youthworks Year 13 program.

 

We have much in Sydney to be thankful for when it comes to Children’s and Youth ministry.

But not everywhere in the world is blessed with the same level of quality training and resourcing. Not everywhere in the world has as many experienced Children’s and Youth ministry practitioners as Sydney. Not everywhere in the world values children like we do in Australia. Papua New Guinea in one such place. It is a country where children are at risk. They are at risk of harm: abuse and neglect are sadly common place for the majority of young people in PNG. They are at risk of a devastating future: unemployment rates are already very high and will only increase as the huge juvenile population moves into adulthood (around 60% of the population are under 25).

While the reality of impoverishment and suffering is confronting and heartbreaking, there is a greater and more confronting risk: spiritual impoverishment, and with it, eternal suffering. There is a huge young population that is at risk of not hearing the gospel. Who is trained to teach the gospel to young people in a way that they can understand? Who can help them to grow and thrive as a Christian by explaining what the Bible says in ways that they can process, remember and apply?

There is a great need for specialized training in Children’s and Youth ministry in PNG and for this reason St George North, in partnership with Youthworks, is ‘Fully Focused’ on at-risk children in PNG. A team of 14—members of SNAC and Youthworks staff—will head over to run a Children’s Ministry intensive for the students at the Christian Leader’s Training College in Banz. Our goal is to provide some basic training on how to determine the ‘Big Idea’ of a passage and communicate it in a way that is both faithful to the passage and accessible to children. We will demonstrate a variety of mediums for communicating that message in a memorable five-minute kid’s talk.

While we cannot expect that our short visit and basic training will eradicate all of the risk in PNG, we do hope and pray that God would begin to transform the country through the power of his word communicated through us and in turn through the people we train. Imagine a huge young population transformed by the gospel—soon they will be in a position to bring about change. And not just when it comes to poverty and abuse: they will be in a position to change the hearts of the nation back God.

At SNAC, we’ve all benefited from the way God has blessed us in Sydney through children’s and youth ministry. Please consider how you can share those blessings with others and partner with us in being ‘Fully Focused on at-risk children in PNG’, both financially and in prayer. You can contact Brendan or Troy for more information, or log onto our fundraising site at fullfocuspng.gofundraise.com.au.

 

The SNAC team is:

 Brendan Moar; Troy Munns; Zac (also Youthworks) Sheree, Desiree, Anne and Larissa Veron and; Avril Lonsdale.

 

Mission Dates: 28March – 7 April 2013.

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