By any measure, the past year has been extraordinary, but particularly so for Churches of Christ in Western Australia.
We have been adjusting to the departure of Tania Watson who served the Association with great distinction over ten years while always demonstrating humility, faith, and an attitude of service. There is no doubt that Tania has done much to shape the organisation. She is missed, but we need to accept that everything has its season and the one constant we face is change. We are adjusting to that change. I would like to take this opportunity to extend the Association’s sincere thanks to Tania for her exceptionally fine contribution to the Churches of Christ movement in WA.
COVID 19 has been a great challenge. It has also enabled some to show great leadership in the most difficult of circumstances.
One example is COCWA’s Nominations & Risk Committee, led by Donelle Rivett, which has worked tirelessly to assess the risks confronted by the Church generally and to assist the Churches address issues emerging from the pandemic. This has included regular communiques ensuring that the leadership of our Churches are aware of new regulations governing what we can do and alerting them to risk management practises that may be considered by each Church. This has not been easy as the rate of change in this space has been staggering.
While managing communications on issues emerging from COVID 19, the Nominations & Risk Committee has also been pursuing the task of finding a new Executive Minister. This has involved considering the current circumstances of COCWA and its member Churches, and the capabilities and qualities of a leader that best meets the current needs of the Association and its member Churches. It has, and will continue to be, a consultative process that cannot be rushed. Further information on progress will be provided at the Association’s Annual General Meeting.
Our Finance Committee, led by Henry Thong, has also been busy. COVID 19 has had significant financial consequences and the Committee has been quick to consider how the Association can assist Churches cope with the financial challenges arising from this. The most significant initiative coming from the Finance Committee was the successful recommendation to the Board to offer a 50% reduction in affiliation fees for the 2020/2021 financial year. This has been of great assistance to many of our Churches.
Much has changed as we have had to get used to social distancing and doing more remotely and on-line. This has included Church services as well as simply staying in touch. I find it heart warming how many have embraced the new normal by which we must live in the short to medium term, working out how we maintain our community in Christ. No doubt some of the initiatives we have been forced to adopt which have proved to be most beneficial will remain with us going forward. Crisis is often a crucible for change for the better.
My time as Chair of the Association is coming to an end. Shortly, a new Chair will be appointed, and I would like to wish the new Chair the absolute best of luck in the role. I would also extend my thanks to the Board and to the Association for providing me the opportunity to serve.
INTERIM EXECUTIVE MINISTER
The Year of The Unexpected! I am sure all of us would say “That’s for sure!”
Just as most COCWA churches and partners have experienced significant change, so also has the resource centre. We have operated with half the staff that we had, seeing Tania, Peter, Amit and Jono all move on to new positions and work adventures. COVID saw us close the office and all work from home for six weeks and then when restrictions lifted we were all happy to get back into the swing of things as a team. There were a good number of shifts in our focus and many adjustments we had to make with a couple of hiccups, like the insurance invoices, sorry about that. But at the moment I feel like we are sailing strongly forward adapting to the continuing changes and revisiting some things we had to push pause on.
One of the areas that we have been able to expand is our bookkeeping service with more churches signing up to have their finances looked after. To facilitate this increased demand we are thrilled to have Patrick Ng join the finance team adding his professional skills and fun personality. Another very practical help we have been able to provide is a generous subscription to Right Now Media, an amazing library of material. The aim is to provide quality content and free up ministers and leaders to connect more with staff, teams and congregations.
The Nominations Committee have restarted the process of looking for a new Executive Minister and taking the opportunity to clarify who we are as COCWA and how do we see the future of COCWA?
For me personally it has been a season of leaning into my faith in the love and power of God. As I read the Gospels I read how Jesus lived, spoke and acted that confirmed who He was and brought glory to God the Father. As I have read I have been drawn to John chapters 14-17 where Jesus says those who believe will hear His voice and do the works He had been doing: healing, deliverance, miracles and telling us to ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to also do these things that will confirm who God is. I believe the world is looking for communities of people of faith who will saturate themselves in the source of life- God’s living Word and Holy Spirit. Then as we live out of that immersing we will be empowered with the love and goodness of Jesus, igniting churches as places of eternal impact and life change.
May you live in the peace of God.
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
ON MISSION TEAM
Church & Ministry Support
As I reflect back upon the last 12 months, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is certainly undeniable. However, I am also drawn to consider how God has and continues to be at work ‘for good’ in and through this time of global pandemic.
From a ministry perspective I have witnessed pastors and churches called to question both what they are doing and whether their programmes and activities are truly focused on the priority of drawing people to the goodness and sovereignty of our God. It has been encouraging to see churches experiment with creative ways of ‘gathering’ and sharing the Gospel message. I believe that this time of differing degrees of isolation has in fact drawn many churches closer to each other and has developed a closer networking of pastors and church leaders. I remember hearing the comment that content alone isn’t enough, what we need is real and growing relationships, both with God and one-another, to help us in and through this time. I thank God that He has been at work drawing us to Himself, to one-another and to those who as yet do not know Him.
From a personal perspective I seem to have had more time to consider my own journey of faith and the extent to which my personal relationship with Jesus has grown over the years. I have also become far more attached to my phone due to the many more hours that I have spent calling and zooming. After 12 years in my current ministry role with COCWA, it remains a privilege to work with so many pastors, churches and church leadership boards, who continue to challenge and encourage me in my own personal walk and ministry
Retired Ministers Support
Another year like no other I have experienced in over fifty years of ministry in Churches of Christ. We have been able to re-evaluate who we are and how to be hope and light in this new way of doing ministry.
As pastoral support for the retired and retiring ministers, I feel my title is misleading if interpreted through the eyes of our culture. A more appropriate description for this large group of men and women who have served in our churches for many years is that they have “REPURPOSED” their lives.
Several of our retired ministers have written their families story of the call of God on their lives and how that set their course in life for many years.
Some have been involved in overseas ministries teaching, encouraging and supporting various ministries manually and using sport as a means of outreach.
Other retired ministers are an experienced resource serving through community based projects like “Bikes for Kids” and supporting through preaching in Churches who don’t have a minister. Some are actively involved in their local church as support persons, preaching, eldership and leading bible studies and counselling.
We celebrate and give thanks for those who have been called home to the Father and now have a new purpose. Trevor Booth, Betty Sewell, Brice Wells.
What Have I learned about this interjection of COVID19?
If there’s any single truth this pandemic has reminded us of, it’s this: None of us know the future. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, much less next year or next month, or even this coming week. Just months ago, no one could have imagined the opportunities a people of faith have been gifted by our Father.
Jesus Said: “Don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own!”
Matthew 6:34 (TLB)
We need to be responsible with our conduct, Exude our confidence that God is in control, Seek Him for our personal and corporate guidance, live light and stay bright so God looks good.
I have never been very good at being patient and waiting on God. I am a fixer. If there is an issue I want to fix it and I want to fix it quickly. I do not like to sit in a place of uncertainty and the unknown. I feel as though God has been working on this in me for the last few years so at the end of 2019 I knew some things were changing in 2020 and I was just going to trust God through the process.
We all know everything has been flipped on its head this year and being sports minister with no sports or events happening means you need to trust God with what He has for 2020. I have learned that I never was in control of my world although I may have thought I was. I have learned that we are better together and that is how we are designed to do this Christian life. We can become our own little island as an individual church but we can achieve so much for the kingdom through the networks we utilise. I have learned that now more than ever, discipleship seems more accessible to Australians as people are willing to be more vulnerable with friends, family members, and co-workers. When all seems lost and uncertainty bubbles to the surface, I know we have a God who is in control of it all.
Coming into my role at Youth Vision for 2020 I was excited, inspired, and ready to enact programs and workshops with our youth pastors across the state. As we progressed into the year and saw the reality of Covid-19 unfold, I quickly had to change and adapt the plans I had made. My enthusiasm and excitement remained, but the reality of what could happen face-to-face quickly changed, daily at some points. This year I have constantly been reminded of Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps”. The plans I had for Youth Vision 2020 may not have outworked themselves as I initially envisaged. However, God has brought about beautiful opportunities for connection that without the season of Covid-19, may not have been possible. This year has reminded me again and again, that regardless of what is happening in the world around us, God is at work and we can trust the path He is leading us on.
Indigenous Ministries Australia (IMA)
Our team across W.A. has had to approach its work quite differently this year. Meeting together face to face across our various ministry centres has not been an option, and so we embraced technology and got our leaders on Zoom video calls. This meant we were still able to share stories, plan, pray together and encourage each other, albeit “virtually”. It’s been wonderful to see each other’s faces on a regular basis. Each leader has also participated in IMA’s COVID-19 Essentials Appeal, enabling their ministry to directly meet some of the needs within their own communities. Funds raised through this appeal have provided Aboriginal families and individuals impacted by the pandemic, access to food, hand sanitiser, and other daily essentials.
Personally, COVID-19 has taught me to slow down and to be more aware of my natural surroundings. While I wouldn’t call myself an avid “birder”, I have gained a greater curiosity for the birdlife around our home, since the pandemic began. Working from home, I’ve paid much more attention to their daily flight patterns and it’s been cathartic for me. Apparently, I’m not alone, with bird watching growing exponentially as a favourite pastime during this year.
I learnt about what generosity really meant during this pandemic.
It is easy to be generous when you are in abundant, but to do this when we are in need, it means to go the extra mile. We die to our selfishness and to depend on God more.
Despite in a time of struggle and uncertainty, I saw churches continue to give in abundance – not only financially but also time and attention.
When we give sacrificially above and beyond what is comfortable and easy, we live honourably before God who gives us all we have, we are expressing our faith and trust in God who can provide more for us and our family.
There have been testimonies about how God returned their trust and faith with His blessings in many ways. Walking the extra mile beyond our comfort zone is what God intended for us to do. It surely needs intention and effort but it also comes with the unspeakable blessings, that it is when I am weak God is strong and that there is joy and peace in the act of giving. We will never out give God.
As COVID19 swept through the world causing chaos, confusion and heartache, the multitude of the losses can never be measured.
Changes arising from this pandemic are inevitable and expected. However not all the changes are bad.
I started work at COCWA in Jan 2020, having worked in various accounting positions across different industries. I consider myself to have hit the pinnacle of my career in my current role. “Where better to be then where God placed you!” I am so grateful for this opportunity.
It is here that I get to work directly with churches and the people that make up the church. To use the experiences God has blessed me with, and to learn more of myself and His work through my daily tasks.
It is here that I see the spirit of Christians unite during this challenging period, to support the community and one another. I see their generosity increase to another level, as they steward God’s dominion as best as they can.
During the period of restrictions, it highlighted the excesses in my life. Many things that I prioritise were in fact unimportant. I hope to continue shedding these excesses, and my weight along with it!
COVID19 reinforces that everything of this world is temporary, and just when people seem to have control over every aspect of this earth – this virus has the ability to change the world and affect everyone in it.
I truly believe God is using this opportunity to bring this world closer to Him. The Bible constantly shows that He uses calamities to bring about His resurgence. Let’s pray and hope the world will turn to and rely on Him and His eternal promises.
Well what a year it has been! In January of this year, I had been at COCWA for 12 months. While much of last year was finding my feet, this year- for me in my role- it has been slightly different to what I expected. In a good way though! I have found that 2020 has brought our team here at the office closer and has also brought our family of churches closer. ‘We’re all in this together,’ was actually a great reminder that we are a family all striving for the same purpose and that we can’t show the love of Jesus and grow His Kingdom alone and on our own- we need ‘family’ for support and encouragement.
Personally, COVID has helped me think there’s hope for humanity yet. While this world is so fast paced and everyone can be self absorbed, when people needed each other, they came together in amazing ways. I have absolutely loved all the stories of communities and neighbours getting each other through lockdown. The whole world, every nation, every class, was in this together. I felt that people, regardless of their beliefs, acted out true Christ-like love. I have always believed that COVID was God’s way of slowing us down and giving this planet some breathing space. I only hope that we learn from this experience and don’t fall back into our old ways.
This year has been challenging for most people in some way, shape or form. I have learnt to rest in Gods loving arms as I am out of control to do anything. Our need to control circumstances or people’s expectations are a stumbling block for God to truly show us He cares and to work through us. My prayer for the church leaders is this: May God bless you as you come before Him humbly, accepting that it is not you who works, but God who works through you, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
On 2 November 2020, COCWA celebrated 130 years in WA
Throughout this season, I’ve been constantly reminded of the phrase: If you don’t know how to fast, you don’t know how to feast. If we feast on abundance and excess on a daily basis, we forget how to revel in the abundance of God’s love and presence; when we fast, we begin to hunger for the things that truly sustain us. My highlight during this season has been witnessing the community of Christ banding together with creative adaptations of community life, constantly pivoting to meet the demands of ever-changing restrictions. Many sermons have been preached on the need for community amongst the body of Christ, though COVID-19 has perhaps been the best teacher of all on this topic. I have been so proud and encouraged by the Church’s overall response to a very taxing and difficult time, the results of which will no doubt have an eternal impact.
Personally, throughout this time, my point of growth has been the same as my main highlight. When the basis of our entire society came to a halt, many of us were presented with a clean slate to rebuild a schedule full of priorities that were previously sidelined or forgotten. I have been reminded of my personal weaknesses and God’s personal abundance. Amongst being completely exhausted from constantly making quick decisions, I have been refreshed and renewed in my perseverance to keep God as my rock and my salvation. I endeavour to use this opportunity not to overfill my plate with busyness, but to save my appetite for the wonders and glories of God in my every day.
I think that it’s fair to say that no-one thought 2020 would pan out the way it has.
Like many others, both of the Churches I lead (Kalamunda and New Spring) took out a big eraser to all the ‘great’ plans, preparations and agendas we had for this year. We had to put our calendars and wall planners to the side as we try to come to terms with what 2020 means.
At first we were like other Churches and indeed other sectors of our society, we were exposed and found out…I mean, really found out. Churches became paralysed this year, we discovered quickly that we are no where near as fluid and flexible in uncertain times as we thought we would be – this was an uncomfortable yet beneficial lesson for us to learn and grapple with. The Government also kindly let us know that we were not considered an ‘essential service’, this again is something to ponder and think through.
Yet as we began to come to terms with this new world the resilience of our Church like others began to kick in. We adapted and embraced areas like technology, the online world and rediscovered the mysterious, beautiful and powerful incarnate nature of the Church in a moment when gatherings were taken away from us.
Jesus followers in our communities became more focussed on their actual neighbourhood, caring for the vulnerable who literally live across the street. We once again used our phones for making phone calls and tried to ensure that no-one in our community was forgotten. This season has pushed us to embodying Christ in a more authentic truthful way than any previous year.
We are by no means out of this season so I want to wrestle with the observations that I have mentioned previously and never take for granted the beauty and wonder and strength of the local Church, especially when we are blessed to meet together.
I was privileged to have made the call to have a ‘gap year’ in 2020 as it allowed me to re-focus and re-prioritise from mid-December 2019. We were also extremely blessed to have close family relocate from Adelaide to Perth in January 2020. In retrospect it is clear to me that God went before me to align my circumstances and mindset, resulting in the whole of COVID-19 and subsequent decisions made by authorities virtually aligning with my new lifestyle. I am extremely grateful and blessed though for having missed the disruption at my former work. On a personal level I have been studying the ‘Cultural Background Study Bible’ since January, allowing me crucial insights in the geographic, ethnic, religious and cultural realities of the time. God is good, all the time – even when COVID happens!
2020 was definitely not a year that went as expected! When I think back on all that has changed in the past 6 or so months, I am most thankful for the learning that has happened in the midst of uncertainty. As a pastor, though of course COVID-19 has brought great challenges around our world, the greatest gift to me has been the opportunity to refocus on what a church is meant to be about. Our church has refocused on the core purposes a church exists for, to make disciples, to minister to one another, to bring the Good News to those who don’t yet know Christ, to be in fellowship, to worship. And in all of these things, we have discovered brand new ways and forms to carry these out! So much of what we are doing today we hadn’t yet considered back in January 2020. Being forced to look at everything in a new way has created a year where we have learned more and learned faster than any I can remember. For myself, it has caused me to re-evaluate what I believe is possible. So much of what I thought were limits to how much change is possible have been completely re-shaped by the year that has been 2020.
Constant change, and quick and adaptive response – I think that this sums up the COVID19 season and post lockdowns for me. Advice was changing rapidly, we had to have a good understanding of the implications for our Churches, and we had to get it out quick!
As with any quick change, new challenges were identified, such as, how do we deliver our services in a safe way in an online environment? How do we reach new people and support our community who are hurting and scared? How do we enrich connectedness in a world where we cannot connect face to face? How do we move forward from here?
While the pace has slowed down since the initial response in March, April and May, the aftereffects continue around us. It was such an encouragement to see how our Church community rallied around and provided support to each other. New online church services popped up, information and support was shared, new technology was introduced, and people were encouraged.
I hope that we have the courage to not just go back to the way that things were done. My hope is that we embrace new ways of doing Church and community, and take advantage of the seismic shifts that the pandemic season has brought us, both now and for the years to come.
Donelle Rivett also Chairs the Risk and Nominations Committee. A massive thank you to Donelle for putting together the prompt and informative communiques during COVID-19.
COVID 19 had its positives for me. Our 3 young adult children who live at home actually spent time at home because they could not go out! We spent many more nights and days together over meals, re-connecting, doing simple things like playing board games. I re-connected more with people from overseas and locally – old friends – it was an opportunity to ask “hey, how are you coping with all this?” Our small group had members, who had returned to the UK and USA in prior year’s, reconvene and we now catch up regularly via Zoom calls. I “attended” Easter services in the comfort of a massage chair. Friday night bible study was done from the comfort of my bed. My travel plans dissipated – I resorted to travel+cooking shows on You Tube. I recommend Gino D’Acampo’s Italian Escape!
There were downsides too: increased pressure at work when company revenues are down, kids unable to find work or attend university, the search for TOILET PAPER, can’t give an old friend a good hug, etc etc but above it all, God is in control.
Needless to say, this has been a tumultuous year for all of us. In Matthew 5, we are called to be the salt and light of this world and the day to day situations we encounter in the midst of this pandemic crisis is the perfect opportunity for us to be exactly that. It is therefore a conscious and active decision on my part to remind myself daily to react to situations in a manner that will bring glory and honour to our Lord Jesus. It is during the toughest times that our character and faith in Christ can shine the brightest. So, despite the gloomy outlook for the next few months (or years), I thank God for the assurance He has given to us – that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). With that in mind, I pray that I will continue to serve God faithfully within the Properties Committee and rely upon Him for guidance and wisdom particularly during our discussions.
From a personal perspective, I quite often look back on the weeks when we were asked to stay at home. The family bonding time we enjoyed was invaluable. It was a precious gift from God for which I am thankful. I am again reminded of how great our God is, for what we see is simply a glimpse of His great and perfect plan for us.
During this unprecedented time I have witnessed a myriad of opposing experiences; from isolation bounded by walls to expanded networks through online meetings, slowing down to busier than ever, disconnection from family to valuing the extra time with them. Our individual worlds have expanded and become so small and local all at once. I’ve been pushed and pulled.
The body of the church has been a support and encouragement through new-found closeness while being displayed on a screen. Relationships have been more intentional, richer and deeper.
I’m reminded, again, of my humanity in all of this. Even greater is the reminder that our Lord God is steadfast and sovereign despite all that is happening.
This year has brought out some of the best and worst in people however, I like to focus on the best and it’s been amazing to see everyone adapt quickly to the necessary change without complaint and a true concern for each other. Moving to online meetings has been a great benefit, although missing out on the face to face communication, we have still been able to meet online and make some important decisions this year for CoCWA and function as a properties committee. We look forward to the year ahead and hope we can continue to move in the direction God takes us.
PROPERTIES & FINANCE
If there is one thing Covid-19 has done to all of us in the past year, it has brought home the message that our world, our work in the Lord, our secular work, our attitudes and our understanding of “normal” is being disrupted. On reflection, disruption has been a theme in the business world for the last decade: You just need to look at the demise of Kodak and camera companies. Now everyone is a photographer through their phones! Tax returns used to be a painful process of adding up bank statements, dividend declarations, receipts, etc but now the tax office already has most of that information at its fingertips! Where the church and evangelist were once one of the few avenues of the Gospel and God’s wisdom, Google, YouTube and “influencers’ on Instagram are now where our young people turn to. To me, Covid-19 was just a wake-up call that change is upon us.
But, for every “threat”, what great opportunities abound! I can listen to Sunday morning messages from powerful preachers from any denomination at 10pm at night thanks to time zones and the internet!
All these changes challenge us in the P&F Committee too. We ask ourselves questions like: how can we mobilise our resources to further the Kingdom? Where should churches be positioned geographically? (The urban sprawl from Yanchep to Coogee is now being engineered to reverse with urban infill). Can churches “survive” with youth and young adult numbers declining? How do we transform church assets to interact with the community? These are some of the challenges that occupy the P&F Committee.
This year, we have combined the previously separate Properties and Finance committees. On reflection of the year just past, I would count as our highlights the following areas where there has been partnership.
We’ve reduced church affiliation fees by 50% for the coming year so that churches can respond to Covid-19 impacts in their own way. Some churches have invested into online delivery facilities. Other churches have simply been able to offset lower tithes through a period where congregations could not physically meet. Ben Johnston from Subiaco Church commented to me that the financial relief allowed Subi Church to match dollar-for-dollar contributions made to Compassion Ministries. That is Kingdom expansion!
Supporting Churches with book-keeping services
Sienny from the COCWA office now provides bookkeeping services for 10 churches. It’s proven to be a cost-effective way for some churches to manage their finances. Some churches have asked us to review their accounts and provide an independent opinion of “good financial standing” to their members. Well done Sienny, COCWA’s Finance Manager.
PROPERTIES & FINANCE
Churches of Christ Financial Services (CCFS) transition
Loans and investments have now been transitioned from BEMF to CCFS. This has been a time-consuming exercise for all to ensure that WA churches have the same access to services and funds as before however under a national Churches of Christ footprint. Our gratitude goes to the former BEMF board members Richard Affleck, Max Rivett, Lindsay Wortlehock, Peter MacKay, Neil Turner, Graeme Jones, and Werner Soontiens.
Churches of Christ Sports and Recreation Association (CCSRA)
The Warwick stadium was impacted immensely by Covid-19 with closure of its facilities for much of the 2020 calendar year so far. We’ve been working closely with the team at CCSRA to right-size and ensure that its financial obligations remain in good stead. Well done to Josh Nipps and his team.
Mt Pleasant Church of Christ
We partnered with Gay Addison and this leadership team to fund a new property and retain the value of the existing and former property within the COCWA “family”.
Our role in the Properties & Finance Committee is to steward Association assets from a risk and financial perspective. I am blessed to work with a small group of professionals who give up their time from their families (and day jobs) to consider COCWA matters put before them. For that I am grateful for their service in the name of the Lord.
Our challenge in the Committee is how to steward assets to grow the Kingdom of God against a backdrop of disruption and Covid-19. We invite your input and welcome your prayers for wisdom and discernment.
The focus of Youth Vision in 2020 has been the connecting and equipping of Youth and Young Adult Pastors. Current research suggests that the average term of a youth pastor is just 18 months. This is of course influenced by many factors; however, burnout is a significant contributor to this statistic. We want the youth and young adult pastors in our movement to be those who go the distance and do not burn out. It is so important the Youth/YA pastors have opportunities to connect with others on the same journey and be equipped for the ministry God has called them to.
The year began with Edge Camp which saw 140 youth and leaders from across the state gather for four days in January at Nanga Bush Camp. Edge Camp is a highlight of the year for both the campers and the leaders, as friendships across youth ministries are formed and young leaders are given the opportunity to be part of the student leader program. Throughout the year, networking breakfasts have provided a space for connection, encouragement, and the sharing of ideas with others who “get it”.
During the season of covid-19 lockdown, cluster groups were created on Zoom to continue to cultivate relationship and hope during a challenging time. The creation of the Youth Vision Network group on Facebook has facilitated an online space for pastors to share ideas, prayer requests and information with one another. Seeing the need for pastors and leaders to be appropriately equipped to respond to the mental health challenges of young people, a Mental Health First Aid workshop, Brain Medic, was run by Masters & Co Psychology in July and was extremely beneficial for all who attended.
Looking to the end of 2020 and beyond, Youth Vision’s mission is to continue to champion youth and young adult ministries to go further than ever before by connecting and equipping leaders.
Molly Lewin, Youth Vision Co-ordinator 2020
Albany Church of Christ
Bassendean Church of Christ
Beckeham Community Church
Bridgeley Church of Christ
Bridgetown Church of Christ
Bruce Rock Church of Christ
Bullcreek Church of Christ
Bunbury Aboriginal Christian Fellowship
Bunbury (South) Church of Christ
Carnarvon Church of Christ
Church @ the Stadium
City Church of Christ
Collie Church of Christ
Cornerstone Church of Christ
Corrigin Church of Christ
Dalkeith Road Church
Dowerin Church of Christ
Dunsborough Church of Christ
Esperance Church of Christ
Foothills Church of Christ
Fremantle Church of Christ
Geraldton Church of Christ
Harvey Church of Christ
Indonesian Family Church
Jesus is the Way
Kalamunda Church of Christ
Kalgoorlie Church of Christ
Kingsley Church of Christ
Lake Gwelup Christian Church
Lifestreams Christian Church
– South Perth
Living Grace Dianella
Maylands Church of Christ
Merredin Church of Christ
Morawa Church of Christ
Mount Pleasant Church of Christ
Mundaring Church of Christ
Mukinbudin Church of Christ
Narembeen Church of Christ
New Spring Church
Nollamara Church of Christ
Noranda Church of Christ
Norseman Community Church
Perth Arabic Christian Centre
Rockingham Church of Christ
Roleystone Community Church
Serpentine Church of Christ
Shalom House Church
Thornlie Church of Christ
True North Church
Valley Church of Christ
Warnbro Community Church
Warwick Church of Christ
Wembley Downs Church of Christ
Westcity Church of Christ
York Church of Christ
The Bethanie Group
Building Extension Mutual Fund (BEMF)
Churches of Christ Sport & Recreation Association (CCSRA)
Crossways Community Services
Masters & Co. Psychology
Shalom House Group