Meet the young people who are training to be future leaders within the Lutheran Church of Australia.
They are the inaugural participants in the LCA’s new Grow Leadership program – a training initiative designed to provide continuing and sustainable Christian leadership development and training for young adults.
Those selected from Australian applicants for 2017 are Elsa Matthias (from Queensland but has moved to South Australia), Dora Blieschke, Joel Grieger, Renee Hein, Holly Pietsch, Tayla Priebbenow and Katrina Rohrlach (all from SA), and Manuela Scharlach and Oliver Swift (both from Western Australia).
They are being joined by overseas participants Pastor Hay Sopheourn and Touch Kev Sreyleak (from Cambodia), Eprista Tampubolon and Delmi Rohdearni Saragih (Indonesia), and Rahael Jaukae and Krystle Haro (PNG).
Grow Leadership is a part-time commitment for 11 months and consists of two seven-day face-to-face intensive gatherings, along with regular one-on-one mentoring, participation in an overseas ‘stretch and grow’ experience and a minimum of 18 hours of local congregational leadership.
Grow Leadership Coordinator Vicki Rochow said she was ‘so encouraged’ by the participants’ ‘enthusiasm and passion to serve’.
‘I am really excited about 2017 and the journey we will take with these young adults’, she said.
‘Many of them are already involved in their communities and we pray this experience will support them in those roles and enhance the leadership skills they already possess.
‘The support and encouragement received for each of the participants from their home congregations has been so exciting. Building on the relationship between Grow and these congregations is another positive offshoot from this program.
‘It is a privilege to be in this role and to facilitate this exciting new program for the LCA. My prayer is that this is just the beginning of a long and successful journey with the young adults of our church – a journey that inspires, encourages and enriches their growth as valued individuals in the LCA family.’
The participants spent their first week-long ‘intensive’ together in Adelaide last month. During this time they delved into leadership, theology and spiritual reflection.
Grow Leadership aims
The project aims to provide participants with a mentored faith adventure; enable them to grow in the gospel; empower them to become leaders with skills to contribute to the church and the wider community; give them a deeper knowledge and understanding of Lutheran theology; and offer the opportunity to experience the ministries of the LCA and to discover and understand Christian vocation in the world. It is run by Grow Ministries, in partnership with the districts of the LCA, LCA International Mission, Board for Local Mission, Australian Lutheran College and Grassroots Training, Lutheran Education Australia and the LCA’s Church Worker Support Department, and is supported by the committee for the LCA’s 50.500 faith.freedom.future initiative.