As we face an uncertain future, we want to explore the place of St John’s in:
· Supporting young people as leaders in mission,
· Training leaders to help us into ongoing change
· Placing of a high priority on mission among children, young people, young adults and families
There’s a difference between St John’s College being relevant for the Church as it is and St John’s being relevant for the Church as it needs to become.
We believe in and experience a God of mission. This is not a God who is overly concerned with the status quo or the survival of our churches.
We believe that young people have a key role in helping us in our journey towards this future.
- This new world is the world they have grown up in.
- They are not as shaped by church as it has been up to this point
- They are able to imagine new ways of being missional, new ways of being church
- They are able to think creatively
- They ask hard questions of what we do
- They look for more
- They are often more interested in doing rather than talking
We need to stand beside and resource young people to ‘give it a go’.
- If we allow young people to ‘give it a go’ St John’s is an appropriate place to enable this to happen
The majority of our communities and populations are young people.
When you work with young people, you are forced to be missional, to think creatively, to ask hard questions and to look for more, to be more interested in doing rather than talking.
Being 3 Tikanga means knowing and respecting each other’s
identity, sharing our stories, sharing our struggles, and owning each
other’s mission as our own.
Young people in our Three Tikanga Church are perfect examples of leading the way in growing and developing our understanding of what it means to be a three Tikanga church.
St John’s College is a unique place where we can live out our three Tikanga relationship.
Our future leaders need to be equipped to lead through change
At present we are equipping people for a mission field that no longer exists; for a ministry paradigm that is no longer working.
We believe a change is required within theological education from educating to equipping, from specific skills for specific tasks to the ability to acquire, use and apply information in changing contexts.
We need leaders who will work with what already exists and help communities as they are to see the need for change and help make those changes happen.
Our hope for these future leaders is that:
- Like Moses, their mission and ministry is based on an encounter with God; that they are called.
- They are equipped to take risks; to journey confidently in faith into the unknown and the uncertain.
- They are aware of their gifts and talents and can work collaboratively with others to staff their weaknesses.
Our greatest hope is that St John’s would place a high value on children, young people and family ministries.
We want to see St John’s lead the way in precipitating change in our churches by equipping people to engage and understand mission with, for and by children, young people and their families.
If we’re going to reverse the current trend of declining congregations, it is imperative that those entering ministry have more than a superficial understanding of children, youth and family ministries.
We’re not talking about adding a children and youth session on the side. Rather than one class on young people, entire courses should be re worked to incorporate children, youth and families. We need to flip it around! What we want to see is a fundamental shift in the focus of theological education at St John’s.