The South Pacific Regional Training Event
A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.
28th November 2008
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This week I am speaking to university students in Canberra at the first South Pacific Regional Training Event.
University students are no more important than other people. They are no more useful for Christ's service than anyone else. They are no more important because of the future power they will wield in society as members of the professions. They are no more important because they are clever or educated. Yet it is important that we pray for them.
It is much more important to be a Christian person than a university student. It is much more important in the service of Christ to be a person filled with the Spirit of God, than qualified with degrees. It is not the world's power structures that will determine the future. The future is in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ as He works through His people to bring all nations under his feet.
However, it is important that Christians invest time in teaching university students, as well as time invested in prayer for university students.
Because of their age they make important personal decisions during their university years. These decisions set the course for the rest of their adult lives. In many ways they are a key group for tomorrow's Australia and the world.
It is important for the students that we pray for them. There are many voices claiming their allegiance, shaping their decisions, tempting their moral and spiritual resolve. They can no longer stay in the nest but have to find their own way through the labyrinth of life's choices. Christians need to be there, holding out the word of life.
It is important for the future that we pray for them. We must always aim to reach the next generation with the gospel. Just as our missionary concern is to reach people everywhere, so our missionary aim is to reach people in every generation. The future is always in the hands of Jesus. But our responsibility is to make sure that the next generation hears of Him and is eager to proclaim Him to others.
It is important for our nation, that we pray for this Training Event. This gathering will bring together students from all the major, and most of the minor, universities in Australia. There will be well over a thousand of them. They are already gospel bearers in all the regions and cities of our land. It is a great workforce for Christ in Australia.
After a few days training in Canberra, they will travel in mission teams to spend a week preaching the gospel all over the country. This will provide many opportunities for Christ to be proclaimed in our land.
Apart from the great gospel work they will do during these missions, this is a wonderful training experience for the students themselves. It will have an immediate effect in equipping them for evangelism on their university campus next year. It will also have a long-term effect in challenging and preparing them to use their lives for the cause of the gospel.
It is important for our world, that we pray for them. For some years this has been a National Training Event. But this year students are coming from the South Pacific as well. Because of costs most of the students will come from Australia, but we are expecting others from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Fiji.
While it is hoped this conference will help our South Pacific neighbours, we hope that its impact on the world will be larger still. Hopefully this Training Event will encourage Australia's students to “give up their small ambitions” and take responsibility for the missionary enterprise of reaching the world for Christ. Few people have such a privileged opportunity to travel the world with the gospel as young Australians. This Training Event will challenge a thousand of them to take up a lifetime commitment to world mission.
Please pray for this important ministry. The student work in Australia lead by Richard Chin has never been as strong as it is at the moment. There are active groups and well-trained staff on all our major universities. Pray that Christ will use the South Pacific Regional Training Event to change lives and bring many more people into his Kingdom.