In his teens Paul Rohrlach didn’t think he ‘could ever be a leader for anything’. Now, at 24, he’s been a church synod delegate and is chairperson of his congregation.
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I’ve always been interested in the family business of grape growing, and not the slightest bit interested in school.
In Year 11, I began a school–based apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic. Part way through the apprenticeship I was pretty dissatisfied. I worked hard but it didn’t live up to my expectations.
My family has always gone to Bethany Lutheran Church in South Australia but when I was 19, I thought about doing some really stupid things. It was then God collided with my life.
A mate was pestering me to go to a youth service. I had been before and had bad memories. He wouldn’t let it go, so I thought I’d go then tell him I hated it.
But I didn’t hate it, and I couldn’t help thinking God was trying to tell me to become a Christian Life Week camp leader. Before that, I didn’t think I could ever be a leader for anything.
That’s got me to where I am today. I experienced community and realised some people do care and can make all the difference. I now wanted to make that difference to others.
I was asked if I’d like to go to District Synod for Bethany church in 2014. It was a great experience, and good to see a bit more passion than at church every Sunday. I also was a delegate for Bethany at General Synod in Queensland in 2015.
I finished my apprenticeship in 2015 and last year started working at home as a vigneron. Generally I’m loving it, probably being outside is the best part of the job.
Then late last year God started speaking to me about taking up a role as church council chairperson. I didn’t want to – it’s not the role a bloke like me takes – but God made it obvious, so here I am.
I’m now just getting an understanding of the role. I know I’m here for a reason. I just hope I’ll hear God when he wants something done, and that I’ll faithfully act on it.
How can the LCA engage more effectively with young people?
You can’t force young people to be involved. It all starts with parents teaching their children about Christ, and encouraging their faith. Then let them make their own decisions and in time life will bring them back to those foundations.
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