Earlier this week, Barb Totterdell, Sally Howe and I attended a conference in Sydney called House. We were richly blessed to be a part of such a high-quality children’s and youth ministry conference. Why did we do it?
If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success (Eccl 10:10).
We want to be as sharp as possible as St Philips begins the journey of “Growing Young”. We are delighted to be able to partner with parents and leaders, young and old, as we think and pray about how to reach the next generation for Jesus.
The bulk of the teaching at the conference was on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, but we were also encouraged with interviews, singing, sermons, workshops, seminars and conversations. The following are three reflections for us to ponder on our journey towards reaching young people.
Investing for the future
It was very obvious to me that we were seeing the fruit of at least 50 years of investment in children’s and youth ministry. Praise God for the many hundreds of people in Sydney who have dedicated their lives to reaching young people for Jesus. Their efforts are bearing much fruit! May God raise up many more like them in the city of Perth (even from St Philips!).
Reaching out to schools
Two things struck me about the fact that almost everyone I spoke to taught a Scripture class in their local school. The first was that, in Victoria, it was only ever ‘oldies’ who taught Scripture in schools (which is great), but at House it was all young adults doing it! The second thing that struck me was what a tragedy it is for us to have lost these opportunities, in both Victoria and WA. We must never give up praying for open doors into schools.
The joy of fellowship
It was absolutely wonderful to be around so many like-minded ministry workers for 2.5 days. There was an incredible warmth, depth and generosity at the conference. There was a high level of authenticity from everyone up the front. There was a deep treasuring of Jesus and prizing of the Scriptures in our gathering together. It was a delight to sing together in the power of the Spirit as we lifted up the name of Jesus.
Thank you so much for your investment in our young people at St Philips. It was your generous giving that enabled us to make the trip. May all our prayerful efforts bear much fruit to the glory of God!