My Ministry: Watson Hall students
On an ordinary Sabbath, the Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Forster-Tuncurry region of New South Wales are probably fairly quiet. Just the normal Sabbath School, worship service and maybe lunch. But not this day. On this day, 39 energetic young men rolled up in two busloads to conduct a regional youth rally.
Young Adventists study at Avondale College of Higher Education for a number of reasons. But for the young men boarding in Watson Hall this year, there is a dedicated interest in being active in ministry. That’s why they jumped at the opportunity to attend and serve the Forster-Tuncurry church.
One of the organisers and a residential assistant, Rhys Charleson, says while they had hoped for 20 men, the fact that they got almost double that number shows that the students are keen to serve.
“Serving helps you grow as a person,” Rhys says. “This was another opportunity to grow our boys spiritually so that when they graduate from here and go all across Australia, they can take that passion with them and it can ignite hundreds of local churches to be passionate about serving the Lord in whatever that capacity may be.”
This year, the theme of Watson Hall men is Romans 12:11: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord” (NIV). The youth rally they conducted focused on the ideas of zeal, passion, fervour and service. The team wore specially designed T-shirts and were sponsored by Avondale College church.
And there is a flow-on effect for the men of Watson Hall. “It built community in dorms,” says Rhys, “as well as a desire to serve again—to be encouraged and to encourage people in their walks with God, showing that the generation coming up does care, is active and does want to serve.”
The team is looking for another church to visit in August and will take the service at college church on October 7.
“I believe God placed it on my heart this year to show the boys and the Avondale community what can happen when people are passionate together,” shares Rhys, an Avondale theology student. “And how this place (Avondale College) can be a hub where people come and are spiritually encouraged, grow and develop a zealous passion for God and His calling on their lives.”