700 youth leaders unite for Move With The Power

Some of the attendees at Move With The Power. (Photos: Jessica Bridcutt)

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More than 700 Adventists in youth leadership positions from around the South Pacific Division (SPD) came together for Move With The Power (MWTP) from September 27 to October 1.

Held at the Stuarts Point Convention Centre on the NSW mid-north coast, MWTP was designed for youth leaders from local churches, including those working with Adventurers, Pathfinders and university students.

SPD youth ministry expert Dr Nick Kross said it was all about training and equipping the youth leaders, while also casting a vision for discipleship.

Keynote speaker was Dr Peter Roennfeldt, who gave five presentations on discipleship. Other presenters included three representatives from the General Conference: Gary Blanchard (new world youth leader), Dr Jiwan Moon (director of public campus ministries) and Dwain Esmond (from the Ellen White Research Centre). Dr Branimir Schubert, Pastor Gilbert Cangy, Erna Johnson and Dr Leigh Rice were among the SPD presenters.

At the end of the program on the Saturday evening, Dr Kross gave a vision-casting speech, appealing for the leaders to work together in the spirit of unity. “Just that notion of working together under the banner of Christ,” he said.

“A lot of people came away very inspired and very moved. Bringing people into one venue is a good way to captivate people’s minds and to just give everybody that big platform: ‘hey, we are altogether on one team, this is where we are heading’.”

Among the attendees was Juliana Tautari from the South New Zealand Conference, who said MWTP has inspired her “to live boldly for Christ”. “I feel so blessed to have spent the week with 700 others who are passionate about leading others to Christ. I left revived and equipped with new knowledge that I cannot wait to share with others. One message that inspired me was that God is not looking for the ready—only the willing. That’s all He needs. Be willing.”

Zoe Weslake, from the Greater Sydney Conference, was equally enthusiastic. “In my opinion MWTP was so inspiring and relevant to today’s churches,” she said. “They addressed issues in our Church that need to be dealt with and left you with the encouragement that Jesus is coming soon and we need to take seriously the work He has given us to do. This doesn’t mean we have to do this work alone, because Jesus has given us the support, love and protection we need.”

Dr Kross said catering for such a large group was quite a logistical exercise.”We brought in 80 people two days early to help us put the tents up because we had 200 family tents to put up plus five big tents, and we had another 80 people who stayed back for two days to help us pull them all down again,” he said.

“Catering for that number of people is huge. We had to bring in some big ovens from a catering company in Sydney. We used both kitchens—Yarra (Yarrahapinni Adventist Youth Centre) as well as Stuarts Point plus the extra ovens.”

The previous Division-wide youth leadership training session was held in 2011, and the aim is to hold one every five years.

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