National training event is an opportunity for Christian student University groups from all over the country to get together and be trained in gospel proclamation and mission. This year’s theme was all things new – as described in Revelation. The main evening talks were centred on this, but what I loved most was how well they informed our strand group time.
Strand groups are more personal training groups, they’re made up of about 10 students from around the country and two leaders (AFES or Bible college students or pastors who’ve volunteered their time). Strand one is for first timers to NTE, strand two for second timers, and so on. This year Angas and I lead strand three on resurrection. As a group we undertook a Biblical theology of resurrection. This encompassed Jewish ideas of a general resurrection, prophecies that the Messiah would rise from the dead, Jesus resurrection, receiving life in Jesus now and physical resurrection from the dead for those who are in Jesus, and what this means for us – those in Jesus, and those not in Jesus.
I loved this, it was a joy to prepare for and to delve into with our strand group. I so enjoyed reading and discussing the truth of who Jesus is, what he has done, and what that means for us now and in the future. I relished the time I got to wallow in this goodness of our God and see students discovering the greatness of Jesus and the depth of life in Him.
Our group, picture just below, were so eager to know God more. It was a real privilege and a lot of fun to spend the week with them. Our time culminates with students preparing a 10 minute talk or talking points for conversation so that they are prepared to teach or share what resurrection is. It was astounding how good these talks and talking points were. Not because we expected the talks/talking points to be poor, but because of how clear and meaningful they were. I was struck that these students were in love with Jesus and already how keen they were to share Him. I was struck that God was already and will use them for His kingdom in such mighty ways. Not only is this true of our strand group, but the thousands of other students at NTE (its so good I’m getting a bit teary writing this, what a good God we serve that He would chose to involve us in His plan for the world).
We also got to hang out with students from Swinburne. The strand group structure at NTE means we are training in students from other uni’s and our students are trained by staff from other Uni’s. I think this is really valuable, sometimes it takes a different person, a different perspective to lead to new growth or better understanding a concept. This allows us to spend time just getting to know our students and to be sounding boards for things they are learning during the week. Below are some photos of time spent hanging out with our students followed by some from official NTE photographers so you can get a feel for the event.Main sessions
This last one is students writing letters to people in ministry all over the world.