So as some of you know I've been writing a regular article for the Tasmanian Anglican (the bi-monthly magazine for the church here in Tassie). It has always been youth focused and i have had the freedom to write whatever i wanted. As i'm moving to Melbourne in about 6 weeks, this was to be my final article... But my article was rejected. Too hot for the Tasmanian Anglican to handle!

Cross Training

Youth Ministry is the most effective place to do mission and see people come to love and serve Jesus. Why? Because approximately 80% report making their decision to follow Jesus before the age of 18! All of us in this diocese must focus much of our time, money and prayer to seeing a revival and rejuvenation of the Anglican Church in Tasmania’s youth ministry activities. My hope and prayer is to see youth ministries producing fruit in all the major cities, Hobart, Burnie, Launceston and Devenport, plus also some strong and exciting rural or regional youth ministries in other places around Tasmania. I believe that God wants his church to be more effective in this area. It is simply a matter of seeking him and being ready to give up the things we hold dear, making sacrifices to see people come into the a loving fulfilling relationship with Jesus. It is unacceptable to refuse to work together because of any differences of opinion or method. We are all one in Christ! I have faced opposition from within our Anglican Church; I have been stopped from partnering with others to disciple more young people. Let me remind you of the urgency, the majority of young people you see when you walk down the street or visit your local school are dying! We have the message that saves, the Gospel that brings life. It is an unacceptable travesty to remain irrelevant to young people or the community at large because of our own personal tastes and habits. I’m sure Jesus didn’t particularly want to become a human like us, but out of love he did. We must also be willing to make such sacrifices.

We also must not let youth ministry slip off the radar for other projects. The Youth Taskforce’s proposal that was adopted by Synod is still inadequately funded. With the Imagine Project taking centre stage at a Diocesan level, in terms of man power and money, it is up to those of us, people who are passionate about young people to keep youth ministry front and centre. We cannot rest on the promise of money, but must act to secure actual finance. If we allow our focus to move from youth ministry to creating more hierarchy and bureaucracy in our church then we will not change and we will not see young people bring vitality and new life to our churches.

This is my last article for the Tasmanian Anglican as I am moving to Melbourne in the new year to take up a new opportunity there and further training at Ridley College. However, I am still passionate about seeing our church here in Tasmania reach out to young people and see lives changed.

I have been a member of the Anglican Church since birth and of our church here in Tasmania since I was 10. It has played an important part in my life and in my decision to follow Jesus. I have also been loved and nurtured by the Anglican Church here in Tasmania and given many opportunities. I am grateful for all of this, and will always hold this church here in Tasmania dear to my heart.

Finally, we face an impossible task which we cannot achieve. The best programs, the greatest strategy, the biggest budget... none of this will bring about the revival in youth ministry in the Anglican Church in Tasmania. Only God can do this. It is only because we can rely and ask the God of the universe to bless us and change us that I believe any change will happen. If we are honestly and earnestly seeking his will for our role in transforming the lives of young Tasmanians, then I believe our Anglican church will be used mightily.