Friday, 24 July 2009

Reflecting on Stanthorpe

I've basically told you what I did while I was in Stanthorpe but I wanted to take some time to chew over thoughts and impressions I had during my time there.

At the beginning of the week I was kind of wondering why we weren't doing more for the church, it seemed they were doing everything for us - giving us lessons on the town and culture, discussing with the Pastors their approach to ministry, visiting the church members who owned farms and wineries. It kind of felt like we were just sight seeing and not fulfilling the requirements of Week of E.

Later in the week, and especially now looking back I really value that time. The 'E' in Week of E stands for Evangelism, Exposure and Equipping. Obviously we'd started our week by being immersed in the Exposure side and it was that which heightened our Equipping to actually be effective in Evangelism later in the week. How many time do we just rock up to a place expecting God to work and us to know exactly what people need. Shouldn't we first , yes even before sharing the Gospel, get an idea of where we are, how the people live, and what previous attempts to share the Gospel have been made? By knowing this wouldn't we be able to more effectively structure the way we share when it comes time to evangelise?

That's led me to wonder what we've done in Kedron here with City North to understand who it is we are evangelising to. We've done it really well in some ways - in noticing the young skating culture around Chermside the church has turned the void space in the building into a skate park and runs 'Chilli-ramps' on a Tuesday night, some of those boys are now involved in youth group and coming to church services. Through seeing the need of local migrants in the community we've just started a "Speaking English" course in the church building, with members of the congregation assisting in teaching people to speak English. But is there more we can do in other ministries such as Young Adults, Seniors and Social Justice?

My week in Stanthorpe also highlighted the importance of school ministries. Through teaching R.E in some of the outlying primary schools to running an evangelistic event with the chaplain at the high school I saw that there is a huge populace of young people who have had no Christian influence on their lives. The high school ministry especially encouraged me of the power of the Gospel in young people's lives. We gave away around 70 "Essential Jesus" books through simply putting them on a table with a sign "Free Book" - we didn't hand any out, kids just took them when they grabbed their lunch and many wanted to discuss it more with different members of the team. I was playing music but could see groups of students sitting together reading the book, and most groups had a Malyon college student there being asked questions. It was really exciting to see that there was some genuine interest in Jesus, who he was and why he is important.

I've just come from teaching R.E at Wavell High and had a very similar experience. I used the "Two Ways to Live" presentation outlined in the back of the "Essential Jesus" book to teach the class and there was a really positive response to who Jesus is, and the importance of his act of redemption. I only had 6 of the books with me, but students in the class were quite willing to take and look at them.

I think maybe the most important thing that Week of E has done for me is to reignite my excitement for ministry, and without realising it the "Exposure" and "Equipping" parts were the most important of all.

No comments:

Twitter Facebook Favorites

Powered by Blogger | Printable Coupons