God continues to weave a rich tapestry of gospel thread across NSW as SU volunteers bring the Word into the lives of children. Glenn Coombs, Associate Director of Regional Development, reflects here on how the intrepid and diverse character of SU people continues to be a powerful voice for Christ in our local communities, and introduces a vision for future ministry across NSW.
One of the greatest privileges of being on the SU staff team over the past two decades, has been the opportunity to champion a community of passionate SU volunteers – formerly, as Regional Coordinator for the Hunter and Central Coast region and now, as Associate Director of Regional Development.
This is not surprising, especially after reading Spencer’s personal account (see pages 4-5) of the high calibre of leaders at the SU Dare 2B Different camp, who have done ‘whatever it takes’ to share the love of Jesus in word and action.
Scripture Union is a volunteer movement at its core. Always has been. I have often said SU volunteers are the ones who do the heavy lifting when it comes to ministry reach. But I have also come to see more clearly the strategic role SU staff play – as the smaller number who recruit, motivate, train and equip the larger number of volunteers for the field.
This dynamic partnership has, under God, motivated like-minded people to work together towards the revival of a movement within NSW that is:
- Creatively, prayerfully and passionately reaching children, young people and families with the Gospel in meaningful, targeted and authentically loving ways
- Consistently seeking new ministry opportunities, and acting intrepidly to establish resources in identified areas
- Producing and distributing valuable resources for outreach and encouragement
- Praying fervently for young people across metropolitan and regional NSW to have the ears to hear and the eyes to see that all glory and praise belongs to our God
- Backing their volunteer involvement with generous and regular financial commitment• Planning future ministries with a sure belief in the providence of God to provide all good and necessary things for shining the light of Christ into young lives.
- Upholding the rights of children by ensuring issues of child protection and safety management are advised, monitored and managed effectively.
SU is committed to seeing gospel transformation all over NSW. We recognise, however, there are several regions currently under-resourced to provide the support needed to meet the growing needs for ministry in these areas.
As God opens more doors for us into even more spaces, and as we seek to meet key strategic and operational objectives, the Illawarra, Newcastle, Far North Coast and Riverina regions, as well as some Sydney areas, are locations we plan to develop in the future.
I have first-hand experience of the positive difference SU support can make for local Christians reaching out to others with Gospel hope, whether it be administrative support, encouragement, mentorship, leadership training or resources.
Howard Barnes, key SU volunteer across schools, camps and missions since the 1960’s, reflects this sentiment, “Ministry in the North West began to thrive when we got an SU staff worker. I saw new camps, SUPA clubs and missions spring to life, as well as local church members being empowered for ministry.”
Our current Regional Coordinators, covering Northwest, Central West, North Coast and the South Coast of NSW, are testifying weekly to the ways they see God moving in their region through SU ministries – in schools, missions, camps and Bible reading.
Ministry in the North West began to thrive when we got an SU staff worker. I saw new camps, SUPA clubs and missions spring to life, as well as local church members being empowered for ministry.Howard Barnes, SU volunteer
It continues to inspire me personally to do ‘whatever it takes’ and to go ‘wherever it’s needed’ to work with churches to bring the Good News to children who desperately need to know and experience the saving grace of Jesus.
As we seek to expand and strengthen SU ministries, praise God for His providence, guidance and the unity he has given us as we share in the work of empowering people to share the love of Jesus with children, young people and families.
Visit sunsw.org.au/donate to pledge your support.