Baptist Youth Ministry has a long history of working with churches to encourage young people in their faith.
Having been birthed by Andrew Palmer, Back2Basics events help to facilitate connections with youth pastors, leaders and young people, as well as providing an import space for those in high school to experience God and encourage our young people to be vibrant, dedicated, contagious followers of Jesus.
The first Back2Basics of 2012 was held at Georges River Community Baptist Church with the youth pastors from Gymea (Alana McAleer), Caringbah (Anthony Edwards), Narwee (Luke Bartlett) and Georges River (Craig Shannon) coming together to plan and organise the night. While the focus of the night was on churches in the St George and Sutherland Shire areas, we were also joined by youth from Chester Hill.
Three weeks later, an event similar in focus was held at Thornleigh Community Baptist Church with the youth pastors from Cherrybrook (Jonathan Bradford), Frenchs Forrest (Clint Staj), and Thornleigh (Mitch Forbes) coming together to plan and organise the night. While this night was focused on churches in the Ryde/Hawkesbury and Northern Beaches, we were also joined by youth from Northside, West Ryde, Berowra and Lakes!
On top of building community, the focus of the two nights was on exploring who the Bible says we are as Christians, as well as meeting with God in worship. At both events we challenged young people to acknowledge not only what Jesus has done, but also to make a commitment to living out that reality. We were also blessed by the musical talents of Britt Cairns, a young lady with an amazing voice who is part of Caringbah Baptist Church.
Over the course of 2012 we are looking to hold more of these gatherings in the ACT, Hunter, Riverina and Northern Rivers in conjunction with our state-wide event, Revive.
We celebrate not only churches working together, but also of lives changed. One story that captures the significance of nights like these is of a girl who shared with me how she remembered being in high school and coming along to Back2Basics nights. She recalled the fond memories of being part of larger gathering, of being distracted by the boys, but also how God had used these nights to call her into relationship with himself. She is not only now a youth leader in her local church, but also studying at Morling College.
Please continue to pray, not only for the youth who have already been a part of our Back2Basics nights, but also for those events coming up, that churches will use the opportunities to work together within their local areas. Please also continue to be praying for the youth pastors and leaders across our denomination who faithfully serve and disciple the young people in our churches.