Over 700 Youth Leaders Trained and Equipped in Australia

Event empowers them to lead other young people for outreach, mission.

Tracey Bridcutt, South Pacific Division News
Over 700 Youth Leaders Trained and Equipped in Australia

More than 700 Adventists in youth leadership positions from around the South Pacific Division (SPD) came together for the “Move with the Power” (MWTP) event from Sep. 27 to Oct. 1.

Held at the Stuarts Point Convention Centre on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia, MWTP was designed for youth leaders from local churches, including those working with Adventurers and Pathfinders Clubs, as well as university students.

SPD youth ministry expert Nick Kross said it was all about training and equipping the youth leaders, while also casting a vision for discipleship.

Keynote speaker was Peter Roennfeldt, who gave five presentations on discipleship. Other presenters included representatives from the world church, including Youth Ministries director Gary Blanchard, Public Campus Ministries director Jiwan Moon, and Ellen G. White Estate associate director Dwain Esmond. Several SPD presenters also participated.

At the end of the Saturday evening program, Kross gave a vision-casting speech, appealing for the leaders to work together in the spirit of unity. “[It is] just that notion of working together under the banner of Christ,” he said. “A lot of people came away very inspired and very moved. Bringing people into one venue is a good way to captivate people’s minds and to just give everybody that big platform.”

Among the attendees was Juliana Tautari, from the South New Zealand Conference, who said MWTP has inspired her to live boldly for Christ. “I feel so blessed to have spent the week with 700 others who are passionate about leading others to Christ. I left revived and equipped with new knowledge that I cannot wait to share with others,” she said. “One message that inspired me was that God is not looking for the ready—only the willing. That’s all He needs. Be willing.”

Zoe Weslake, from the Greater Sydney Conference, was equally enthusiastic. “In my opinion, MWTP was so inspiring and relevant to today’s churches,” she said. “They addressed issues in our Church that need to be dealt with and left you with the encouragement that Jesus is coming soon, and we need to take seriously the work He has given us to do. This doesn’t mean we have to do this work alone because Jesus has given us the support, love, and protection we need.”

Kross said catering for such a large group was quite a logistical exercise. “We brought in 80 people two days early to help us put the tents up because we had 200 family tents to put up plus five big tents, and we had another 80 people who stayed back for two days to help us pull them all down again,” he said.

Catering for that number of people is not easy, said Kross. He shared that they had to bring in some big ovens from a catering company in Sydney.”

The previous region-wide youth leadership training session was held in 2011, and the aim is to hold one every five years.

Tracey Bridcutt, South Pacific Division News