Vision for YouthAn update from Aaron Hardy, Waikato Bishopric Youth Coordinator
Kia Ora Taatou,
A quick update from me (Aaron Hardy), the new youth coordinator for the Waikato Bishopric. The first few weeks have been great in that I have been able to connect with leaders, hear their heart and why they do what they do. In all my years of experience of working with young people I have seen that where the leaders heart’s are well and truly sold out for following Christ and not just creating an activity night, youth ministries grow. It was encouraging to meet so many leaders sold out for following Jesus and longing to see their young people do the same.
The greatest opportunity in Waikato is the potential collaboration, connection and interdependance between Anglican faith communities and youth groups. I am pleased to launch WAY (Waikato Anglican Youth) this coming term. WAY represents a few things…
1. The call to follow Jesus is transformational. When understand and experienced everything changes in people’s lives. We want to lead our young people into a deep relationship with Jesus and the kingdom he calls us to be a part of. WAY is primarily about that call, and helping young people to realise that God’s love for them is radical, so radical that it is uncontainable.
2. It represents the whaanau of Waikato Anglican communities. When we truly understand that we are not alone and are part of something bigger than ourselves, it is an empowering feeling. Our young people are going to be pulled together and encouraged, connected and empowered as they understand the bigger picture of what they belong to, not in theory, but in experienced relationships. I am believing that no youth ministry in Waikato will do this alone any more.
3. Finally, it represents desperation. We are desperate to reach young people for God, our parishes need to be seeing the next generation take risks as they learn to follow Christ. I don’t think we can afford to wait. We need every Parish on board, every leader, every member believing, praying and giving towards the future.
So what can you expect. Every term there will be a WAY event happening where every Waikato Anglican Young person, and any young people full stop will gather together as one. It will be fun, meaningful, powerful, and it will bring excitement. In term 4 this event will be a camp. It will be our first WAY camp. We are hoping to get between 50-100 young people together to share about Jesus, pray, have heaps of fun, and start something of a revolution amongst young people in this area and in our churches. Early next year we will be taking all of our young people to Narrows Park Easter camp, as well.
How can you be involved? We need you, in so many ways. If you are a little younger and would like to be involved in these events let me know! However, for the majority this is how you can be involved…
1. Can you pray? Can you pray every week that God would start to bubble up amongst our young people. Could you pray for the 1 or 2 young people in your community that are in high school? If you don’t have any, and even if you do, could you adopt a couple of young people from different churches and commit to praying for them. Pray for their families, their schooling and mostly their relationship with Jesus. Pray for an encounter with Holy Spirit. Contact me and I can give you photos and names of young people. Prayer is the most powerful gift you could give WAY.
2. Can you give? Many of our young people would love to go to camps and different events but just can’t afford it. Could you as an individual commit to giving financially to a couple of young people to help them into the experiences that are so incredible formative. Maybe your parish could commit to sponsoring all the young people in your community to go to these camps or at least subsidise their costing. Scripture says that where our treasure is, is where our hearts are, so lets be generous as we recognise the need to see another generation rise to take their place. I unashamedly ask for your financial support because I know your hearts are for the next generation, and, like me, you want to do anything it takes to see them follow the Way that brings Truth and Life.
I am excited for this next season as I believe that God is wanting to cut right to the heart of our young people. Let me finish by quoting the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby...
Story Published: 8th of June - 2018