Hello and welcome to The Pastors’ Post. As many of you would know, I’ll be finishing up as Families Pastor in the next few days so in this video I’m aiming to give clarity for what the rest of term four will look like in my absence, especially as it relates to Youth.
We have set up a Youth Leadership Group that will take responsibility for steering the Youth ship until the new Families Pastor takes over in January. This leadership group is made up of Henk Breugem, Cameron Bryant, Sarah McCabe, Eliza Faulkner and Gabby Allen. The Youth Leadership Group will be responsible for making decisions on pastoral and structural matters related to Youth. Now, as the structure of youth is made up of 90% people you can think of the leadership group as being responsible for the people side of Youth. As part of this, a number of the Leadership Group members are rostered on to be in charge on each Friday night. You can see who that is in the Term 4 Youth program I sent to parents and carers.
Now, in addition to her role in the youth leadership group, Gabby Allen has taken on a one day per week Youth admin role. This includes, but is not limited to, coordinating rosters, making sure PowerPoints are made and permission notes are accounted for. While you can think of the youth leadership group as being responsible for the people side of Youth; you can think of Gabby as being responsible for the paper side of Youth.
To get in touch with the leadership group about the people side of Youth, speak to them in person or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get in touch with Gabby about the paper side of Youth, speak to her in person or email email@example.com.
In filling these roles it has not been hard to find enough exceptional youth leaders, the hard part has been knowing where to stop in adding people to the leadership group. There is a great depth of maturity in our Youth team. I count myself as very blessed to have had the joy of leading such a committed and capable group – who really love Jesus and who really love the youth.
This term at Youth we will be departing from the Sunday preaching series to ask the question ‘Who is your God?’. No, but really, who is he? What’s his character and what can we expect from him? To answer these questions we will be taking an in-depth look at the most referenced verse by Biblical authors in the Bible—Exodus 34:6. “… ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…”. We’re going to spend a week looking at each of those characteristics of God. My prayer is that the youth will gain a richer and deeper understanding of who God is and that that will inspire them to joyfully live for him all the more.
From here Jas, Violet and I will be moving back to Newcastle late next week where I will resume work in horticulture. We’ll be returning to our old church. The plan is that I will have a break from paid ministry while I recover and put some things in place to protect my mental health.
As I wrap up now, I just want to say some thank yous:
Thank you to my wife, Jasmine, who has been by my side helping me as I navigate ministry. I really appreciate the late night discussions that have helped me work out how best to love and lead people.
Thanks so much to the staff team, especially Bronwyn and Eliza, Peita, Jill, Ian, Stew and Matt. Yes, that is all of them. God has gifted each of you in great and varied ways. I’ve loved how as a team we have been able to play to our strengths to serve our church family and help them serve Jesus.
Thank you to our Gospel Community who have welcomed us so well.
Thanks to the youth leaders. Your love for Jesus, love for the youth and commitment to growing followers of Jesus is raising up the next generation. I’ve delighted to see it.
I want to thank you, the family of Southern Cross. It takes a village to raise a follower of Jesus and I have benefitted hugely from this village. Many of you would know that I grew up as part of this church before spending a number of years in Sydney and Newcastle. It has given me great joy to benefit again from this church and to see that same heart for growing followers of Jesus remains today.
Most of all I want to thank God, who is doing great things in our midst. He is the one who is growing our kids and youth, our young adults and adults. He makes any and all of this worth doing.
So I just want to leave you with a Psalm of praise to God. Psalm 150 – the final and the climax of the collection. Notice how the poet is scrambling to get everything, everywhere to praise God because he knows that God is worthy of all the praise:
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.