Each Friday I get trained with other ministry trainees who are in universities around Melbourne. The program is called eQuip and is designed to complement our on campus involvement. This semester we have began with discipleship, Deb Sugars has been teaching us about effective discipleship, including one to one ministry. This has been really helpful to think through and have a solid Biblical foundation to this part of our ministry.
I’m currently meeting with about seven young women who are Swinburne students to intentionally disciple them. With some of them I amreading a book of the Bible and discussing what it means for our lives, for others we’re working through training material in sharing the basics of Christianity with new Christians or those interested in Christianity. With others we’re working on a spiritual discipline together.
Please pray that each of these times would be valuable for the growth of these ladies. Pray that God would give me wisdom in discipleing them and would grow me through this work.
I don’t take photos of one to one times so here’s a photo of the eQuip ministry trainees. Please be praying for them also in their roles on campus and specially their discipleship of students.
We are well and truely underway. Core groups began this week- these are our Bible study and prayer groups that meet for an hour each week of semester. We have 65 students meeting throughout the week in 13 core groups, all of which are starting out in the book of Matthew.
We also had our first Thirst (Public Bible Talk) and Much (Monday lunch, a chance for us to hang out and an easy introduction for those who aren’t Christians) which we’re both well attended.
Please pray that our events wouldn’t just be religious gatherings but where people would meet Jesus and grow in their faith. We want to be raising up a generation of mature Christians to go into the world and make disciples.
Munch – Monday Lunch in the park
Melbourne Uni Christian Union runs a conference prior to semester to train up and equip their students and staff for the coming semester, GEAR UP. They kindly invited myself and any of our student leaders who were available at short notice to attend. Emily (our student president, below) and Luke (one of our committee members) joined me for the three days.
The timing and content of GEAR UP couldn’t have been better for us. I personally needed to be taught and reminded of so much of what was said (it was really full, it’s hard to summarise). The Bible talks focused on parts of Acts – we saw that their is no other name that saves, but Jesus, thus our faithful and whole proclamation of the gospel is necessary and urgent; the Spirit is at work spreading the word; we should expect that in response to the gospel some will repent and believe and others will reject Jesus; we are united with Jesus, this includes in his suffering; I want to be like Paul, counting my life not as worthwhile to me, but to be used for the tasks God has set before me. We also undertook practical training – spending time practicing evangelism. It was also great to spend time with Melbourne Uni students and staff – simply being aware that their are others wanting to share Jesus and build God’s Kingdom was an important take-away of the conference and I’m thankful for the conversations and community we got to enjoy.
One of the student leaders from Melbourne, Nathan, was tasked with the final charge. He reminded everyone of the great opportunity student ministry is, spoke about how only our work for the Kingdom will endure forever, and how our reward will be seeing those we minister to now praising God in heaven. Finally he prayed that God would make known to us what is of consequence eternally. The whole conference culminating in this charge spurred us on to our goal – to make Jesus known.
What a joy it is that God has made us co-workers with Him (1 Cor 3.9).
This year is bringing change to ministry on campus at Swinburne, as I detailed in my last email update (if you don’t currently receive my updates you can sign up for them here http://eepurl.com/bV1jJv ).
I wanted to make a note here of a few things, so that when I look back over this section ‘What He has done and is doing’ I will remember God’s goodness and praise Him.
- The past month has been marked by uncertainty and simultaneously enjoying God’s faithfulness. Even though it’s hard, it’s a great place to be – being forced not to rely on myself or a team but on God.
- God has graciously caused generosity to abound in the Victorian AFES staff team – their support of ministry at Swinburne has been a great encouragement
- At times this month I’ve been pretty overwhelmed and fear has been threatening to creep in. My head has consistently been reminding my heart that God is worth trusting, that what he has in store is good, generous and overflowing with life. Meeting with Julie-Anne, sharing where we are at with student ministry at Swinburne and sharing my love of Jesus was the instance were God bought victory over fear and doubt. He reminded me of why I’ve fallen in love with him and how worth proclaiming Jesus’ name and the gospel is.
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.