Ministry Catalysts – Church Partnerships a Strategic Focus
At SU WA we have a strong sense of the great privilege of being invited to work with God in his worldwide ministry of reconciling all people to himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). This also encourages us to seek and value partnership with other parts of the body of Christ; Christian schools, churches of all denominations and other parachurch ministries.
One such partnership is camps and community missions we run with TEAR; a Christian organisation who bring relief, effective development, and advocacy to those suffering under poverty and injustice. As a school chaplain I found students and staff with no experience of the gospel would often engage readily with such issues. When you explained the concept of human rights as we understand them today originated with Jesus, their interest was stirred in who Jesus really was.
With TEAR we have been exploring how to help high-school aged Christians grow in their understanding of God’s heart for justice and his concern for the poor and marginalised. In this way we hope to empower our young Christians in schools to be secure in the knowledge that no one has greater concern for bringing justice for all people than our God, and we, as his ambassadors, can be confident his Word and his Spirit equip us to serve those in need.
So far churches in three different denominations have shown interest in supporting training for their youth, and our first MAD workshop will take place in August this year. It joins our other activities with TEAR: AMUC (AMong the Urban Community), our local exposure mission camp for adults, and the annual MAD camp for senior school students. We acknowledge the work of SU staff Joyce and Paul, Steve McKinnon at TEAR and several key SU volunteers.
God very often uses AMUC and MAD to bring powerful transformation to those who attend as campers or leaders. As Jacqui Burgess, Youth Pastor at Subi Church, who have generously hosted MAD camp several times, said recently, “All Christian teenagers should do MAD camp. No, make that ALL Christians.” We say Amen!
Sally Howe & Taylor Cowper