Chaplaincy | Christian Leadership Training: Trinity’s Annual Berea Missiondeveloper
As I write this, a small section of the Senior School is preparing for the annual Berea Mission, which, by the time this is shared online, will be well underway.
‘Berea’ is a Co-curricular programme for Years 10 to 12 students interested in Christian leadership training. Each year, these students get the opportunity to put their training to the test on a five-day ‘mission’, during which they partner with local schools and churches by participating in various ministry activities.
This year, the students are being hosted by Liverpool Anglican Church where they will set up base to eat, sleep, plan, reflect, and hear a nightly Bible talk from a guest speaker. During the days they will be visiting one of four schools (William Carey Christian School, Greenacre Baptist Christian Community School, Penrith Anglican College, and our own Preparatory School in Strathfield) to teach Christian Studies classes, run lunchtime groups, contribute to Chapel services and help out in other ways. When not engaged in school ministry, the students will be busy co-ordinating the youth groups and kids clubs with our partner churches (in Liverpool, Ingleburn, Minto, Toongabbie, and Berala.)
A lot happens during Mission, and it would be easy to quantify the value of the five days by looking at the numbers: the number of classes taught, the number of talks given, the number of students reached etc.
But, as is usually the case with Christian ministry, the true value lies in the intangibles: the excitement of the Year 2 class when our boys enter the room, the joy they experience at having a group of teenagers give them time and attention, not to mention the confidence the Bereans get from being role models looked up to by those younger than themselves.
Occasionally there are awkward moments, when someone muddles up the script, forgets a key responsibility, or freezes when the students don’t react in the way they anticipated, but these too become valuable teaching moments for the team to reflect on and laugh about on the bus trip back to the host church. All this adds colour and texture to the Mission experience.
Even when they aren’t ‘on the job’, the Bereans benefit from life together at the host church. Thrust into a community comprised of multiple friendship groups across three different academic cohorts, the down-time offers them unique opportunities to love and serve those around them in all sorts of informal and unstructured ways, whether it be lending toothpaste, helping with the washing up or simply getting to know someone you wouldn’t normally have much to do with.
The bonds made on Mission are, like the memories, both lasting and significant, and the team looks forward to sharing their experience of this year’s Mission with you – when they return!
Nathan Lee | Assistant Chaplain, Senior School