Christian leadership in actionDoug Conway
Each year during Berea Mission, students from Trinity Grammar School scatter throughout the city to support other Sydney churches and schools as they run Chapel services, Christian Studies classes, lunchtime groups, youth groups, kids ministry, and more.
Starting in 2005 as a Co-curricular group for students to train in Christian leadership, the group is named after the ancient city ‘Berea’ visited by Paul and Silas in Acts 17.
The Trinity Bereans are dedicated to reflecting the attitude of the Bereans in Acts 17, ensuring they are examining the Scriptures every day. Each Wednesday morning before School, Trinity’s Berea group meets to hear from the Bible and spend some time thinking about a particular aspect of Christian ministry. From giving a testimony or writing a talk, to leading a small group or hearing about existing ministries outside of the School (Compassion, SMBC, Youthworks, Year 13 and many more!) the Berea students are exposed to many different ministries and leadership opportunities.
The first term of 2022 saw the ‘Bereans’ heading out across south-west Sydney to share their faith with other students and children in schools and churches beyond their usual stomping grounds.
28 Bereans from the Senior School were divided into four teams to teach the Bible and share the gospel of Jesus at various schools and churches in Greater Sydney.
Each team visited a school for three days, either at Trinity Preparatory School, William Carey Christian School, Penrith Anglican College or Greenacre Baptist Christian Community School where they taught Christian Studies, led the voluntary lunchtime groups, and gave Bible talks at Chapel services.
“On the Friday evening, we split into three teams to lead the Youth Groups in Anglican churches at Ingleburn, Berala and Toongabbie. The Trinity students shared their testimonies, conducted games, led prayer, gave Bible talks, and facilitated discussions on Bible passages and themes from the talk. On the Sunday morning the same teams led the Kids’ Churches or Sunday Schools of Anglican churches in Ingleburn, Berala and Liverpool,” explained Dr Chris Thanopoulos, Master In Charge, Berea Co-Curricular.
On two evenings of the week and on Saturday, the Berea group benefited from four talks on Jesus’ mission by Tim Booker and Ez Lau, the Senior and Assistant Ministers at Liverpool Anglican church, who generously hosted the Trinity Bereans for the duration of the Mission.
“Berea Mission has continued to be a highlight of the School year for the students and teachers who participate. I was personally struck by the humble spirit of collaboration and service among the various teams and the growth that everyone displayed through persistent effort,’ added Dr Thanopoulos.
News from the ground
Benjamin took on the challenge of Berea Mission this year and took note of all the opportunities he had during the week. Read his reflections below:
From Wednesday 30 March to Sunday 3 April, Berea mission took place.
28 boys from Years 10, 11 and 12 set off to south-west Sydney on the annual mission to teach Christian Studies lessons, and run kids’ clubs, youth groups and kids’ church services. Over the week we were also given the opportunity to gain experience and grow in our own faith, hearing a Bible talk each night specifically aimed to help us reflect and grow in the context of mission.
For the first three days, we were split into four groups and headed off to four different local schools including Penrith Anglican College, William Carey Christian School, Greenacre Baptist Community School and Trinity Grammar Preparatory School. During our time at these schools, we helped run Christian Studies classes, lunchtime groups and chapel services, gaining firsthand experience whilst getting heavily involved in ministry programs at each group’s respective school.
Having the opportunity to run these classes, lunchtime groups and chapel services was amazing and allowed each person to put their faith into action, giving every single one of us an opportunity to teach and spread what we believe to the students at these schools.
Having spent three jam-packed days teaching and running activities at local schools, on Friday we undertook the task of running local kids’ clubs and youth groups. This again was another amazing opportunity for us to share our faith and partner with local churches to help run their weekly Friday activities. The running of these youth groups and kids’ clubs was different and sometimes a more challenging task compared to our time teaching primary school classes, but every single team was able to get involved and run activities that were engaging and successful in providing an opportunity for gospel-centred message to be shared to those in attendance.
After a big week of teaching we were given a break on Saturday, using the time to hear two bible talks, plan our final day of teaching and catch up on much-needed rest. On the final day, each team returned to their respective church and ran their Sunday Kids’ Church program. This again was a great opportunity to put our faith into action, teaching the children at each church about the good news of Jesus.
Whilst an exhausting week full of teaching classes, running youth groups and kids’ churches it was a deeply rewarding experience. It was clear to see the impact that we made on each school and church we visited, bringing them a team of enthusiastic Bereans keen to teach and help in any way we could.
Overall, Berea Mission 2022 was an amazing experience and allowed for great mission opportunities and teaching whilst allowing us to each individually grow in our own faith.