Training program inspires teens to lead


Port Macquarie, New South Wales

The future looks bright for the Adventist Church in Australia.

To see switched-on teens stepping up in local churches is truly inspirational.

More than 80 teens from across the country gathered in Bonny Hills, New South Wales, for the Australian Union Conference’s (AUC) “CHOSEN 4” training program in July.

Each of the AUC’s nine Conferences was represented at the event, with local church pastors and boards selecting 14 to 16-year-olds who have demonstrated good leadership potential to attend.

AUC Youth Ministries director Jeff Parker said the purpose of the biennial training program is to encourage the Church’s young members to “step up” in their local churches.

“Attendees at the last three CHOSEN programs are already serving as great leaders in their churches,” says Pastor Parker.

Two of these leaders are Kaitlan Rath from Canberra (ACT) and Joyce Mugabashaka from Adelaide (SA). The two 19-year-olds attended CHOSEN in 2010 and are now actively involved in both local church and Conference-wide youth ministry.

Kaitlan and Joyce returned to CHOSEN this year to serve as mentors. Other Adventist youth leaders gathered from across the country to serve as trainers, including Pastor Derek McCutcheon (WA), Derek Rippingale (Vic), Graeme Frauenfelder (NSW), Sebastian Davila (NSW), Jacqui and Elisha Knight (Vic), and Sharon Witt, one of Australia’s top Christian writers for teens.

Kaitlan Rath and Joyce Mugabashaka, both of who attended CHOSEN in 2010, returned to the training program this year as mentors.

Attendees were also inspired by 2011 Australia’s Got Talent finalist, Ben Price, and former Young Australian of the Year, Glen Gerreyn, who served as guest presenters during the five-day program.

Paul Goltz from Livingston Adventist church (WA) also shared his journey of “policeman to pastor”.

Pastor Parker says the CHOSEN training programs, developed by former AUC youth director Pastor Tony Knight, are an unbelievable way of helping a large group of teens to realise their full potential for God and the Church.

“I have seen the fruit of CHOSEN for many years, and I know this year’s event will be no different,” says Pastor Parker. “To see switched-on teens stepping up in local churches is truly inspirational.”