Catalyst graduates second cohort of disciple-makers

Eleven participants, including several young professionals, completed the course earlier this month. [Credit: Henrique Felix]

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A short course equipping, empowering and deploying participants for missional ministry has graduated its second—and largest—cohort and is offering a discount for the next.

Catalyst is a 12-week immersive, skill-based discipleship adventure hosted on Avondale University’s Lake Macquarie campus. An initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific in partnership with Avondale University, the course provides “clarity and competence in the mission of the local church” so participants can return equipped to help share “the good news of the kingdom of God”.

Eleven participants, including several young professionals, graduated from the course on May 10. They say it has helped clarify life purpose and direction. One, Frederick Kei, became aware of Catalyst only one week before classes and felt “torn” about leaving his wife and four children in Auckland. He prayed for a sign. “In Tongan culture, what your mother says goes. So, she told me, ‘I know you want this, but now the opportunity comes, you don’t want it? You’re going.’ I’m a married man in my 30s, and I’m still listening to my mum!” The same day, Mr Kei’s local church offered to pay his tuition fee. “To know God answers prayer, I felt such overwhelming joy.”

Mr Kei and the other participants began the course with a wilderness experience in a national park, which transformed them “from strangers to family members”. Community engagement and field placement are other co-curricular activities that give the participants opportunities to serve at local food pantries and minister in local churches.

Now reunited with his family, Mr Kei has returned as a more confident Bible study leader who has plans to empower the young adults at his church for ministry. “The next step: serving the homeless in our community.”

At a graduation ceremony, Avondale vice-chancellor Professor Kerri-Lee Krause presented the commissioning to Mr Kei and the other participants. Pastor Cristian Copaceanu, president of the Church in North New South Wales, presented the address. He spoke about how seeds that stay dormant in soil for years can still germinate. Water is the catalyst. We can be dormant seeds, he said, but when a catalyst wakes us, we can bear fruit for the kingdom of God.

This centrality—and nearness—of the kingdom summaries the Catalyst curriculum. “We teach about the Holy Spirit because it’s the Spirit who activates kingdom life,” said Dr Gilbert Cangy, director of the Church in the South Pacific’s Institute of Discipleship. “We teach how to build a personal relationship with Jesus and spend a lot of time in the Bible. Then we teach and equip for mission.”

Participants can register for the third Catalyst cohort with at least a $A1400 tuition discount, thanks to a donor.

Catalyst: for you or someone you know
Secure a place in Catalyst now. Classes begin July 29. Register now.

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