Growing in Circles
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Youthful members of the 15th Assembly have schooled their elders on making the Church a more welcoming place for young people.
Ben Tupou and Merenaite Aiafi shared their insights at the Discipling the Next Generation Circle session over lunch on Day 2.
“Millenials have a different way of thinking and approaching life,” explained Ben. “It’s very much about empowering them in their own gifts, not taking leadership and directing.”
“The same Holy Spirit lies in each and every one of us. I think it’s awesome wherever you come from, whatever experiences you have, God can work in you.”
“If we come with that mindset then we’ll be able to listen to what young people have to say.”
Merenaite talked about her journey of deepening faith as a young Australian woman with Samoan and Tongan heritage.
She offered some advice like having an advocate to bridge to gap between first and second generations, involving young people in leadership roles and activities and finding ways for them to feel connection and belonging to their church.
“You have to embrace and value them as present and future life of the Church,” Mernaite said.
The Melbourne Chinese Christian (MCC) Zion Church youth choir provided a joyous and uplifting welcome to attendees.
The youth choir performed the song “I am a child” and their Minister Rev Zhu shared a video showing how the faith community is discipling its next generation at Glen Iris Uniting Church.
Rev Zhu said he was grateful his community had found a home in the Uniting Church.
MCC Zion has made discipling young people a major focus, and the congregation is growing.
The Church’s next generation ministry includes Sunday school, recreational activities, youth choir, faith discussions for teenagers as well as weekly young adult fellowship gatherings.
National Consultant Rev Charissa Suli invited people to continue sharing stories and ideas and asking questions of each other within the Discipling the Next Generations Circle.
Tomorrow’s lunchtime Circle session is for the Growing in Faith and Walking together as First and Second Peoples Circles in the Boyland Room.