Convention inspires

By Aidan Mitchell
Sunset Rock Uniting Church youth leader

Posted in Faith

 

The National Youth Ministry Convention will be held at Tweed Heads from Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 October 2015. There is a unique opportunity for Uniting Church attendees to gather together the day prior (Tuesday 6) and after (Sunday 11) the main event. Aidan Mitchell shares an insight he gained while attending the last NYMC.

In October 2013, I was given the opportunity to fly to Tweed Heads on Australia’s East Coast for the National Youth Ministry Convention (NYMC), a biennial, ecumenical event for Christians working with young people. Pastors, youth workers, counsellors, social workers, teachers, ministers and interested others came from across Australia to learn and share experiences. Youth ministry leaders were inspired to speak at the event with the clear intention of bringing people closer to God and to equipping them to do the work of Jesus. I was eager to listen to what the dynamic presenters had to share.

With a pre-existing interest in evangelism, I was excited to see what new things I could learn in a session focussed on this topic. The session was led by Canadian speaker Phil Cann, who mostly spoke on the stories Jesus told regarding the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. The major point of Phil’s discussion was identifying that there are a lot of people who are lost and are yet to know Jesus. Some know that they’re lost (sheep); some don’t know that they’re lost (coin), and some know that they’re lost and know how to get back but for some reason choose not to (son). As I kept listening intently, there was a point during the session when it just clicked.

This whole thing – this Christianity – this is bigger than me. Much bigger.

God has a heart for those that don’t yet know him. Whether people are aware that they need a saviour or not, whether they know what to do about it or not, I have an obligation – we have an obligation – to at least point them in the right direction. This means that in every encounter I have with someone, I have the opportunity to express the love of Jesus. I don’t suggest that every encounter demands a conversion, but that every encounter has the capacity for that individual to take a step closer.

This article was first published in a longer form on pages 12-13 of the August 2014 edition of New Times, which can be viewed here.

More information about NYMC in 2015 is available here.

 


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