Making Disciples in Every Generation

Speech by Evonne Paddison Given at the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) National Conference - 2008
Background: The EFAC Conference was held from September 10- 13 at Ridley Melbourne, saw more than 200 people from around Australia come together to look at, "Discipleship the Heart of Mission." Speakers included: Bishop Graham Cray from the UK, Archbishop Peter Jensen, Kanishka Raffel and Rev Dr Evonne Paddison. The original audio for this transcript can be downloaded here: http://www.efac.org.au/images/audio/PaddisonConf08.mp3 Total Time: 53:46 BEGIN TRANSCRIPT:

Well it's great to be here with you and thank you for the invitation. Just let me tell you what I'm doing, we’ll have a look at the topic is growing disciples for every generation. That's a big topic so let me tell you what I'm going to do with it. We’re going to have a biblical look at discipleship, what are the marks of discipleship? And then I'm going to focus on discipleship to young people, and I can see so many of them here and that's great. The year was 155 A.D. and the place was Smyrna, Roman province of Asia. There was a new wave of persecution that was sweeping against the Christian church and the proconsul of Smyrna was especially vigorous in that pursuit and prosecution of the followers of Jesus and of course he focused on the Bishop Smyrna. A man named Polycarp who was almost 100 years old. An old disciple. When the Christians of Smyrna found out that an arrest warrant had been issued for Polycarp they whisked him away hid him in a barn to protect him, but the police found him and he was caught he was brought into the city he was taken to the center of an arena where there were thousands of people crying out for his execution. As the old man stood in the middle of the arena, I'm sure you all know the story, he's anticipating that soon he would die, the proconsul it would seem that moment of sympathy for the old man. He raised up his arm, he silenced the crowd and when everything was quiet he shouted out to Polycarp, Polycarp curse the Christ and live! And with a strong voice Polycarp answered back, 80 and six years have I served my master and king and he has done me no wrong I dare not blaspheme him now. And with that refusal to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ the proconsul brought down his arm and Polycarp was executed. He became a Christian martyr.

Well, what does Polycarp mean? Come on you Greeks scholars. Much fruit! And Polycarp was a disciple of Jesus who like his name remained abiding in the vine. And bore much fruit for his master and his king. Oh to be a Polycarp. It is set of Polycarp that he was disciple by none other than the apostle John. Now whether that's accurate or not is another matter. Polycarp proved to be a faithful disciple and because I think there is no better place to begin looking at what the Bible has to say about discipleship than the Gospel of John. I know that will surprise some of you. So let's first of all look at discipleship in John's Gospel. Looking at what are the marks of discipleship. Well firstly responding and abiding in belief. One of the key concepts in John Gospel is of course belief. A disciple is a believer, and a follower of Jesus. Someone who responds, believes and goes on and abides in the word of God in Jesus's words. And of course John wrote his Gospel with this purpose as it's pointed out in John 2031. He's written his Gospel so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ. The son of God. And that by believing you may have life in his names. So disciples believe who Jesus really is, they accept except his claims and John also tells us that belief undergoes a process of gradual understanding and perception this occurs through adherence to the words of Jesus and of coarse relationship with him. This is how one grows as a disciple and following the resurrection the disciples came to fully understand who is and who grasped his full status as the son of God the Christ. Now John also contrasts defective belief with true belief and we heard about that in the bread of life discourse that was read to us. So in chapter 6 verses 51 to 58 Jesus made the incredible statement of who he really is. I am the living bread that came down from heaven if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever and the bread that I will give for the life of the world, his alarming words, he is my flesh. And we are told after many of his disciples heard this they turned their back and a longer walk with him. Well that is the defective beliefs he didn't continue they didn't abide. But by contrast, we have Simon Peter's statement and it is the most powerful statement about what true belief is all about. Jesus said to the 12, do you want to go away as well? And Simon Peter answered him, Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we have believed and have come to know that you are the holy one of God. What a statement. That is the statement of the true believer. Thus disciples are ones who believe in Jesus as the word who gives eternal life. And disciples are ones that go on and abides in Jesus words So in John 8 31:32 we find, So Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Abiding, as we know, means remaining it; means remaining convinced of the truth of Jesus words. Living one's life in the

truth of Jesus' words. The truth and belief and reality of belief is proven through abiding in the word of truth. That is what it means to be a disciple, spot in belief and applied in the words of Jesus that is the first mark in John's Gospel of discipleship. Now the second mark of discipleship found in John is the command to love one another. In John 13 remember the scene, it's a magnificent scene just after Judas has left the upper room to betray Jesus, a defective disciple, Jesus says, a new commandment I give to you that you love one another just as I have loved you. They're familiar words aren't they? You are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. Disciples of Jesus love each other as Jesus has loved them and of course this presupposes that disciples are members of a faith community. That's part of being a disciple. And such love shows that one is in fact a disciple of Jesus. It is a reflection of the love of Jesus and it shows the influence of Christ in a believer's life. As CK Barreck(sp?)tt puts it , one has ceased to belong to the old world. It was Tertulian Bishop of Carthage in the second century living in the midst of Christian persecution who wrote, he wrote this about Christians, that he then will want to exclaim, see how these Christians love one another, they are ready to die for one another. That is the mark of discipleship. The third mark of discipleship in John is bearing fruit. So in John 15 verse eight this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples, that you bear much fruit. I guess as we see that verse one has reminded again of dear old Polycarp. Mr. much fruit. One is able to bear fruit because one is in the vine and through true attachment to the vine brings life. And of course in the discourse we are told the vine that does not bear fruit, the branch, I'm going to get there, the branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off. Discipleship is a growing and developing way of life which results in fruit bearing but what is the fruit bearing in John's Gospel? Well, it is clearly being involved in the mission of Jesus. If you've got your Bibles there you might carry them. In chapter 15 verse seven, Jesus says if you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. And as I read before my father is glorified by this if you bear much fruit. Mark Twain's, Huck Finn, shows a great misunderstanding of prayer, and actually not that he knew he was doing this but what it means to be a disciple of Jesus for that matter. When he says in, to Mrs. Watson, he's speaking he says Mrs. Watson told me I could get anything I wanted I praying for it, she said if I go in my closet and pray I get it. And I needed some fishhooks one time so I went to the closet I shut the door and I prayed, but it weren’t so. And I got to thinking about it and I decided there was nothing to prayer. Well, he's got it wrong hasn't he? Our father delights to see his mission to fulfilled, and the prayer requests that will be answered are associated with

going in bearing fruit and this is implied with the ongoing work of making disciples. So if you look at verse 16, Jesus says you didn't choose me, but I chose you and I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last so that the father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. Disciples pray that through them much fruit will be born and that is the prayer the father delights to answer. The fourth mark of discipleship in John is seeing and reflecting the glory of Jesus. In John 114, an extraordinary statement is made, we all know it but it is extraordinary, the Word became flesh, and wait for it, that's extraordinary, and we beheld his glory. We have seen his glory. Glory, as of the only son from the father full of Grace and truth. Disciples are those who have seen Jesus his glory, and they are those who go on to receive and reflect his glory. What is striking about John's presentation of Jesus is that although Jesus his glory is revealed powerfully in his signs it was above all to be seen in his self humiliation in the incarnation and particularly and most gloriously in his death on the cross. The cross was a horror in the first century world, we miss this in our world it was a place of unspeakable agony and above all of shame and a curse. But what John shows in this magnificent gospel, the cross is in fact his exultation. The hour of his suffering is paradoxically the hour of his greatest glory. That glory was hidden from many but it is glory and it is glorious nonetheless. A Christian disciple is someone who sees the glory of God person of his son and in his saving death. We have seen his glory. This is a test of faith. Moreover disciples are people who have learnt to recognize Christ's glory in what he is presently doing in the world. Although his ways may seem hidden, she is at work. So although when justice prevails your mother-in-law may seem to be winning, spouses suffering from cancer, the kids are experimenting with drugs, the climate is suffering, poor seem poorer, the church in the West is in decline. The disciple believes and knows his glorious purposes Christ’s glorious purposes are being unfolded. The Christ's purposes will not be and can never be thwarted. The disciples sees his glory and looks ahead to the time when the Lord's splendid glory will be revealed to all. God's purposes are on schedule and going according to plan and moreover disciples reflect his glory. Christ's glory was not only revealed to his disciples that received by them so that they can reflect it in the world Jesus prays for his disciples just before the point of his crucifixion and in chapter 17 he prayed by saying all mine are yours and yours or mine and I am glorified in them the glory that you have given to me I have given to them don't you think that's also extraordinary? What a privilege we have. To be glory reflectors of Jesus. John clearly teaches that disciples are followers of Jesus. So my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. Followers of disciples first receive and then reflect his glory so what does this following and reflecting mean? It involves going where he went along a path of suffering carrying a cross and in this way becoming like him and reflecting him to a lost

world. We are to be disciples and make disciples, we are not looking for a stress free pampered existence, not seeking popularity, not seeking health and wealth and happiness but followers of Jesus who have taken up crosses. Reflecting his glory will inevitably mean following his path of humiliation and loss for the sake of bearing fruit. For the sake of winning others. Amy Carmichael expresses the relationship between suffering and discipleship in these words, have you no scar? No hidden scar on foot, or side or hand? I hear your son is mighty in the land. I hear you inhale your bright ascendant star. Have you no scar? Have you no wound? Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent, leaned on the tree to die and rents by raving beasts that compass me. I swooned. Have you no wound? No wound? No scar? It is the master shall the servant be and pierced are the foot that follow me, but yours are whole. Can one have followed far who has no wound? No scar. Christ has called us to follow him through the glory of suffering to the glory of eternity. To follow and share that with him. Seeing and reflecting his glory is the mark of discipleship. These then are the principles for discipleship for all generations. Whether you're Polycarp, of his age, or whether you're a child. How do your discipleship programs measure up? Are these the ingredients of your programs? Or even better still, how do you and how do I measure up as disciples? 19:30 Let me now say something about making disciples of our children and young people certain ministries in schools, which is what I'm involved in. I am presently working with access ministries. Some of you might have known us as the Council for Christian education in schools. I think ACCESS is a much better name. Clearly we must promote the same marks of discipleship for young people that the Bible, as those that the Bible presents to us. But of course, in a way that is appropriate and contextual to them. The first step in becoming a disciple is clearly believing, but so many of our young people have never heard the gospel. They will not hear it unless we go and tell and make disciples of them. 20:30 In Australia we have a God-given open door to children and young people with the Gospel, our federal and state governments allow us to take the Christian faith into our schools and share it. We need to go and make disciples. There are students who do not know God exists. You have no idea of what Christianity is about. I think of one child who was convinced that God's name was Harold, because she heard someone say, our father in heaven, herald, be your name. Then another who thought Jesus was some kind of animal liberationist because he had cured 10 leopards (laughter). 21:20

There is a world of children and students who know nothing of the love of God, nor in many cases human love. Never before have we had such an open access, such as open to door. Christians from other countries envy our opportunities, they can't believe we have this situation. I believe that this is the greatest mission field we have in Australia: our children and our students. Our greatest field for disciple making. 21:50 What's your strategy? There is an enormous amount of Christian ministry going on in our schools, both at state level and at national level both in government and non government schools, but we must ask how much of that ministry is actually resulting in Christian conversion and discipleship growing and resulting in church growth? We have a huge challenge ahead of us we must develop the right attitude and framework and goals and models in order to see not only Christian ministry taking place but conversion, discipleship and commitment to a Christian faith community. We need missional attitudes, clear theological framework and intentional goals to impact on the lives of students and a clear biblical view of discipleship. 22:45 let me say something about missional attitudes. Like all good missions less examine first the context. The school and student context in which we find ourselves. There are 3.5 million students in Australia, not a bad mission field is it? We know that the number of children and students in church on a Sunday is no more than 5%, not very good is it? 23:20 School ministry is happening in both state and church schools, Scripture teaching, chaplaincy, college ministry, kids club, mustard here in Victoria, breakfast clubs, there are school church is going on usually in church schools. As I said I'm involved with access ministries, how many times can I plug this? And we provide CRE teachers to chaplains in schools. We have three and a half thousand teachers, and by the end of the year will have almost 300 chaplaincies in schools. We reached 250,000 children every week. Our goal is to double those numbers. However despite all the ministry going on here in Victoria and across Australia we need to recognize that what isn't happening and what isn't happening is a connection between school and church. 24:17 let me say something about our audience this school students of today. We've heard much about GenY, I'm about to take a month's study leave in Cambridge to research GenZ. Poor poor me (laughter). The Victorian Department of Education produced the following summary in relation to today's youth, they are underage drink and experiment with drugs. They are overmedicated. They're getting fat. They love multimedia technology. They are easily bored. In Precipice, in an article by Jake Bouma(sp?) On ministry to postmodern youth,

he identifies four characteristics of this generation. For them truth is no longer an objective reality but a personal preference, truth is relative to one's own background and experience for this generation. They are tribal but moving tribes of individuals. The tribe decides what is true. Most will make decisions not on data and facts it on the experience of the core group, usually 3 to 8 people. Virtual reality and electronic culture can seem just as real as actual reality. It is estimated that Australian youth spent four hours in front of the screen per day. I think there are few adults who might do that to. And micro narratives, replace an overarching story for them. So they have very absolutes. Valuing a good lifestyle and fun they are motivated by their own community and also their own self-discovery. They seek after more than community but friendships and they want to be understood respective and included. Their decisions are based on a friend's views and experiences and relies more on anecdotal evidence than data and reason and they are seeking bigger meaning in life than that of their parents. They know that their parents get the rewards of hard work, you get houses big cars to get material wealth but they also stated that sort of success is often brought broken marriages absentee parenting stress and illness. They have benefited from their parents success by being the most materially endowed and entertained generation of students ever. Without realizing it though however, consumerism has become their God. And so they are looking for more and so they involve themselves in meaningful clauses such as making poverty history, environmentalism human rights and so on. For most people church is an option these days and not a duty and for most kids church is an irrelevant option. Only 5% on any given Sunday. How will these students come to Christ? Comes church and become disciples of others? Quoting Bishop Cray(sp?) Who I obviously think is a good person to quote, "what takes place in our church services is so different from what is happening in the real and virtual world of our students, that in order to disciple them, our own paradigms have to change. To minister to students is a cross cultural mission, and much of our thinking about ministry and schools has had the goal that our students will be contacted converted and disciple in order to lift them up with the local church and become part of the home sponsoring church. However we've got to say that this isn't working. 28:25 Let's face it, our numbers are in decline. Unfortunately, although some have been won to Christ, through the school ministry programs, not many have made a quantum leap to church. Not even to our evening services with their Christian contemporary music and laid-back style. Because you see back to his foreign, for into these kids, it's really churchy music for young people, their style. Clearly we need fresh thinking, there is no question that to be a Christian is to belong to Jesus's church, membership of a faith community is vital in our model for discipleship must include this. The opportunity to reach children and students through schools ministry is not only exciting but incredibly logical and compelling. Our involvement with students calls on us to have a strong theological framework. Today's students value subjective truth and not

objective truth or absolute truths so we need to respond to this with a robust missional and incarnational theology. Instead of inviting people to establish church, the church must enter into the world we need to be missional instead of attractional. We need to be like Jesus who became one of us and pitched his tent in order to reveal grace and truth. We must enter the context of those who do not know him. 30:05 I believe ACCESS’s involvement in schools ministry is both missional and incarnational. As we share the love of Jesus and as we relate to kids. With our primary children, most of whom are totally unchurched, we are telling the story of Jesus. Week by week, and we're sharing with them the love of the word of God and showing its relevance to them and our teachers are caring for these kids. Our chaplains are engaging with students and their families and the wider school community quite often at points of deep and painful need. 30:47 I think the student whose brother committed suicide, um, recently, and the family was totally unchurched by the Chaplin of course got involved he had been a friend of the student at school, but he got involved took the service, cared for the family and then this other student the sister of the brother contacted the Chaplin and told the Chaplin I was going to copy my brother but because of you I haven't. You have given me hope and you have given me life. 31:26 O and will like to will write about authorities that they are our chaplains reflect the love of God and his son Jesus as they enter into the student's needs and issues, many opportunities for gospel initiatives and sharing take place in this setting and in this way a culture that says the only truth is my own is challenged with the person of Jesus and the words of Jesus found in Scripture. Two sisters in their early 20s spoke of the impact of CRE on their lives. They came from an unchurched family, but at CRE, Christian religious education, they heard of God's existence and his love for them. They love the stories and they pester their parents to take them to church! The parents really didn't want to do this, but eventually they gave in. The children came to faith, and later so did their parents. And today these children are young women and they are actively involved in Christian ministry to students. Fortunately they made the quantum leap into church, but not all do. 32:28 But, certainly it is often the quality of life that the Scripture teacher and the Chaplin and a Christian teacher or the Christian worker that goes into the school that speaks loudly the love of Christ and reinforces the words of Scripture. Can I encourage you to encourage teachers to go back into the state schools. We need Christian teachers in the state schools. So many have left to be in the independent school sector. We need them in our state schools where

kids have never heard the gospel. And if you're one of them get back their please (laughter). 33:23 In a generation of students who sees truth as options and preferences, our engagement must show that Jesus is the best of all choices. Doing it with a life that is authentic, his real, that mirrors the generosity of God, that his sacrificial and self giving. In this way we will show that Christ and his church provide a love more true than those available in popular culture. And importantly can I urge we must move them to an acceptance of the centrality of Scripture. Through modeling our own adherents to it. Making it central to any gatherings we have with them and showing it as a door or two growing in a relationship with Jesus. Do not water it down. Thirdly, community. Today's students value community. They are tribal. Tribes of individuals. The tribe decides what is true. Our theological framework and practice must reflect our deep value of relationship and community because we have a God of relationship. Our theology must reflect our triune God. God in relationship. Father, son and Spirit who makes his home with us and through the father and the work of the Spirit calls us to be the body of Christ on earth. Moreover we are to reflect the relationship of the persons of the Trinity in our relationships as Christ's new society. As we develop this perspective in our encounter with students who will tap into their longing for belonging and acceptance that is grown out of their experience of the world's of divorce and division. The lunchtime meeting, the afterschool club, the weeknight gathering some of these roles can be taken up by the Chaplain, but the state school setting the Chaplain, at times has constraints. However the Chaplain has every opportunity to be a facilitator for other groups to come in and have acceptance in the school to facilitate and foster a youth church congregation. And I believe it is in this incarnational and relational way fresh expressions of student congregations can be developed and provide the opportunity of discipleing our youth. 35:57 Again quoting Graham Cray(sp) that is as we enter into the world of students the goal is not to bring them back into a church culture that isn't alien for them but to plant the gospel and the church where they are. A church that is relational but empower students to take responsibility for their own community. Let me say once again we mustn't present relationship with out affirming the word of God, as revealed in Scripture. As we promote community it must be community that gathers around the word of God, listens to it and applies it in order to grow the community and each individual's relationship with Jesus. We do our young people no service if we merely present relationship without the centrality of Scripture. Of course building communities like this where students lead Bible study talks where they share their journeys where there is a youth leader running it, communities that are yes, marked by

love, and certainly we need community leaders who can do all those things, of course raises huge issues for us. How can these young people's communities be called Anglican churches? Or Baptist, or Presbyterian? What is the place of the sacraments? In fact, was the place of the church leader? Or heavens, the Bishop? Sorry Bishop. (Laughter). 37:36 What is the relationship to the local church? The wider diocese? How will the school see this and how do we do it in such a way that will not abuse our privilege? Good questions. A couple years ago the Connex train service, which is what it's called here in Melbourne, had a problem trains were going right by, right past, passengers waiting at stations designated train stops. The Connex authority released a statement to explain their actions, they said it was impossible for them to maintain schedule if they always had to stop and pick up passengers. (Laughter). Now, we thought Connex existed for the purpose of providing transportation didn't we? It's important that the church recognize its commission is to make disciples. Our young people seen as obstacles to our age-old models of worship or are they seen as opportunities? Our young people need Christ. And to mix metaphors, let's not hang onto our sacred cows and miss getting our kids on board the train. (Laughter). That was pretty good. 39:02 Well, you might ask well what happens when the students leave school? Do they remain in the student congregations? Can they fit anywhere else? Well I work in the university church, it grew from meeting a lounge room, we moved to a building our own chapel on college grounds, that was absolutely controversial we have lost something it was said moving into a traditional building, even with the same congregation. However most stated. Many students after they graduated, most of them had come to faith in that community often in my lounge room kept coming back to worship in that church. The church grew in 10 years we went from a handful to over 200. They got married in. Then they had children they were baptized in and they needed a Sunday school, after 15 years the church went through great pain. Was a university church? Working in a church? There was division. Sounds like churches doesn't it. Issues had to be dealt with, it was no longer largely a one generation of church it had a ball like churches do. Most who have moved on straight after graduating found it hard to fit into traditional church some made the leap but not all of them. When I left, I found traditional church very difficult to fit into. Maybe I still haven't, but anyway, the community we had created was deep and is still enduring in that church. However, the great story is that for the majority of its members it worked. Thousands of students and now their children have been discipled because of it. Isn't that a magnificent story? What do we fear by starting these congregations? Let's do it. 41:08

Fourthly, reality, virtual reality and electronic culture. Today's students have lived all their lives and electronic culture reality is not easy to define. Virtual reality can seem just as real as actual life. What is happening on big Brother, oh that's off now isn't it? Australian Idol becomes reality. Increasing the number of information sources also makes it difficult to distinguish what is true and what isn't? Moreover students today have a preference for image based forms of communication. Research tells us that the amount of time spent in virtual reality significantly alters our perception. Now I strongly believe that in our engagement with students we need to provide authentic community as opposed to virtual. We are just trying to imitate pop culture, and we don't do it very well anyway but we are trying to speak into it. Notwithstanding, of course we need also to learn how to use images and activities to be heard. Bear in mind the use of images changes the way we perceive things. This is not only a challenge for the church, but for all who wish to engage with students. Yes, images important, we need to learn how to use it but without diminishing the role of the Gospel and of Scripture. But enhancing it. Quite often our best resources for helping us with this is the students themselves who know actually how to do it. But let me say, we are mistaken if we think the way to discipled our young people is virtual or electronic. They need authentic relationships. They need leaders who personally impact on them. They need to be challenged individually and corporately with the word of God and they need to respond to it. They desperately need a relationship with the Lord Jesus, and to be in a faith community. 43:17 Meta-narratives. GenY by and large reject meta-narratives. However our theological framework must continue to promote the meta-narratives of God's transforming love and reject the rejection of the meta-narratives. The Gospel remains unchanged unchanged for this generation. We need to continue to teach that God so loved the world that he gave his son. However we must also teach that life begins when we believe. We must be expressing the Gospel in its fullness not only emphasizing salvation afterlife through God's grace in Christ but also that eternal life has begun and that each one of us has a place in God's overarching story. Get them in the story of salvation. We are in the middle of God's actions. And the effects are now. So when reaching students we must not water down the Gospel for image or for entertainment or because it challenges the subjective paradigm of truth and rejects the meaningful plan of God's salvation. Rather we must work at ways to present this message authentically and contextually. There is great power in letting students tell their stories as part of a grander plan of God. There is also great effect of using the strong narrative of Scripture there is a real role for first-person narrative I believe. First person narrative stories that are faithful to Scripture. Haden Robinson (sp?) Is a great artist of this, used his books. Our own spontaneity and faith stance to interact is powerful. There is the greatest of power in letting the Scriptures speak for themselves. Getting them were reading the Bible and enacting it, sharing it, studying it. It is the word of God which speaks.

45:23 And then we need a model of discipleship. We must give our children and young people a model of discipleship that promotes belief in responds to the word of God. And trains them to abide in it. It teaches and models for them the love of God and how to be in a community of faith to love one another and love God's word. We need a model that is marked by fruit bearing and involves our young people in evangelicalism and disciple making. We need a model that points to the glory of Christ in his incarnation his work on the cross is resurrection is exultation and sees his disciples continuing that work and reflecting in in his world. We are constantly tempted to water this down in order to attract young people through our activities, our music, our fun, or whatever it is. Resist the temptation to replace substance with superficiality. Our gospel is not in need of massaging for acceptability. It alone will transform lives and bring salvation. 46:40 My view is that we have every opportunity to create new congregations through our schools ministries, as we do this we have the responsibility to fulfill the great commission of making disciples. We need to see our Scripture teachers, our chaplains, especially as facilitators of this as established Anglican churches we need to be missional. As leaders in the church we are called to be leaders and enablers of god’s mission for his world. 47:10 Schools are our great mission field for students. It is imperative that we are willing to engage with schools embrace, support and own the work that is taking place in them. It is not about getting somebody to fill that spot and sending them off to the Scripture each week. As local church communities I would encourage you to have Scripture teachers in schools and be one yourself. Particularly clergy. Model it. This in of itself becomes a chaplaincy role. When week by week you befriend the kids, their teachers and get known. And from your churches don't just send Scripture teachers into schools, but develop with your team a strategy. A strategy that could see the growth of a fresh expression of a church that is part of your own church, but a congregation in its own right. Our task is to have a biblical model of discipleship that is presented in a contextually appropriate manner through this. 48:18 We need to develop student congregations. Good ministries are going on in schools, but we are not reaching all our kids. Scripture is an extraordinary opportunity to reach kids, with the good news about Jesus. As I said we are reaching 250,000 kids each week in Victoria. Under God, many come to faith. Some find their way to church. Our chaplains in state schools provide an extraordinary model of Christian ministry they engage day by day in schools. They engage day by day with students, that the church has absolutely no contact with. Our great need is to see students nurtured in faith congregations

where they find belonging and meaning in their faith is deepened. So they too become disciples. 49:16 Our challenge. Can we meet it? Bill is wild haired. His wardrobe for uni is jeans and a T-shirt, with holes in it of course. He recently became a believer while attending a Uni Bible study. Near the University is a conservative church, one Sunday bill decided to go there. He walked in late and shoeless, the church was packed. Bill headed down the aisle looking for a seat. Having nearly reached the pulpit he realized there were no empty seats. So he squatted down on the carpet just like he did in a lecture theater. The congregation was feeling very uncomfortable. Then, from the back of the church of gray-haired older man in a three-piece suit started walking toward bill with a cane. The congregation drew their breath. And with all eyes focus on this developing drama, the minister waited to begin his sermon until the old man did what he had to do. The elderly man dropped his cane onto the floor and with great difficulty lower himself down to sit next to Bill. What I am about to preach, the minister began, you will never remember. What you've just seen, you will never forget. 50:55 This is far from establishing a student congregation, but it does illustrate some of the tensions faced by the church when it seeks to engage in change and openness and incarnational ministry. Establishing a separate student church faces us with a real challenge of how we do church and what are the appropriate elements and structures. However, the tension between mission and church can be fathomed as we seek not so much to change structures but the imagination we need to use those structures and when we develop a discipleship model based on the biblical markers of discipleship. So, don't just pray for the work of chaplains and school ministry workers don't even just support them in your local churches. Don't just give money to them, but develop an intentional ministry for them within your church so that they can help make and develop a new congregation and make disciples. 52:12 I'm actually convinced that a great model for discipleship and for chaplaincy would be to have a chaplain curate in a local church as a part-time chaplain in a local school with the view of starting a new congregation in a fresh expression. We need to enhance this ministry with establishing congregations and to establish a student congregation that is part of the wider church could prove life-giving, to both the sending church and the new congregation. What really matters. What really matters is seizing the God-given opportunity we have to reach kids in schools. Without Jesus, our students are lost. 53:04

3.5 million. Our churches in the West are on a slow death march. We have the opportunity to create life. It may be uncomfortable but so what? What a commandment, make disciples. What a responsibility. What a privilege we have been given. Let's go for it.