How do we move students from being seekers to leaders? How do we reach the unchurched and create pathways to hear the Gospel? What role have SU Schools and Camps ministries played? These are the questions Regional Coordinator for Far West NSW, Andrew Parkinson, has been exploring with youth leaders and pastors across the region.
ISCF groups and SUPA Clubs are great places for kids and youth to explore questions of faith and be introduced to the person of Jesus.
These fun and friendly lunchtime groups are run by volunteers and students themselves in many State schools across NSW. They are an entry point into a journey of faith where the games and activities are designed to point them to scripture where they can ultimately meet Jesus.
Another entry point into this journey can be SU Camps. At over 40 camps held throughout the year, campers participate in their favourite sport or activity, whilst exploring Christianity with other kids their age. For Christian campers, however, SU Camps can also provide a pathway for them to share Jesus with their friends.
By inviting them, they can have fun together as well as natural Gospel conversations in response to the Bible talks, devotions and testimonies shared at each Camp.
For those wishing to deepen their knowledge and relationship with Jesus, to understand their own unique shape for ministry and to begin the journey to leadership, Scripture Union NSW has been running Leadership Conference in Springwood and Tamworth for many years.
Here, Christian students in Years 9-12 have an opportunity to be challenged about how they make an impact for Jesus in their schools, churches and communities. They will be given a toolbox of essential leadership skills in various workshops and electives, all culminating in an opportunity to plan and lead their own practise ISCF lunchtime group.
They are then released back in to their schools and churches with a renewed passion and equipped to introduce others to Jesus and start them on the same journey.
For emerging student leaders in Years 10-12, SUPA Serve is an opportunity for young Christians to develop their leadership confidence and discover their gifts in ministry as they serve alongside local churches.
SUPA Serve was developed over 12 years ago in rural NSW. This year, SUPA Serve Broken Hill is an outback mission trip where emerging student leaders from NSW and South Australia run a week-long school holiday sports evangelism program together in Broken Hill called KidsGames, for primary school students in the area.
As students work together to share a Gospel message of hope every day, they build valuable relationships and develop a heart for mission beyond the walls of the church.
All these ministries are designed to serve Scripture Union’s aim “.. to make God’s Good News known to children, young people and families…” so that they can, “.. come to personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, grow in Christian maturity and become both committed church members and servants of a world in need.”
Almighty Father, grow a larger vision of Jesus in the hearts and minds of emerging and developing Christian leaders in Far West NSW, that your Kingdom would grow here.
From Truth Seeker to Gospel Leader
When ISCF leader, SRE teacher and Chaplain, Ayumi Tamsett, invited Lucy Davis to SU Leadership Conference, it was the start of a three year journey for Lucy to faith and leadership. Here, Andrew shares her story:
I had regularly made the long three hour drive to Gilgandra to support SU ministry in the High School, sharing resources with Ayumi and promoting SU Camps and Leadership Conference.
Three of Ayumi’s students registered for Leadership Conference in Springwood, but first they had to get there! Lucy was one of these students. She made the long train trip from Dubbo (around an hour from home) to Springwood all by herself, where we met her and took her on to Blue Gum Lodge.
It was a brave start, but even braver when Lucy realised all the other students attending were already Christians, but she had not made that decision yet. That week was the beginning of Lucy’s exploration into the claims of King Christ.
Over the next three years, Lucy helped lead her blossoming ISCF, even though she still had not made a faith commitment.
Thanks to a Hope 103.2 Kids to Camp sponsorship, Lucy attended Chaffey Dam Water Sports Camp as well as REBOOT Technology and Computing Camp. Lucy also came to Leadership Conference every year where she continued to hear Gospel hope proclaimed.
I continued to visit Gilgandra every term to train, encourage and equip the student leaders there, and also to support Ayumi’s work in the school. Each time, I’d encourage Lucy.
Finally, on the last day of Chaffey Dam Water Sports Camp in 2020, Lucy surrendered her life to Christ and, upon her return to Gilgandra, proudly announced to Ayumi that she wanted to be baptised. Praise God for his mercy and grace!
Thanks to your support, Regional Coordinators like Andrew can be on the road making these connections and supporting volunteers as they reach people for Christ.
Will you pray for the Kingdom in Far West NSW? Sign-up to receive regional news from Andrew today, email: [email protected]!
Lucy’s story has been published with permission.
Read more . . .