We’ve therefore sought to push the leadership of the movement down to the student level so that changes in church personnel aren’t so critical.
Harvey had been running a ministry in his hometown of Ballarat, Victoria, for a couple years, and wanted to try another campus. He looked to the 4,000 students at Latrobe Uni in Bendigo, an hour to the north. Harvey knew no students there, so how would he start? What followed over the next couple years was, according to Harvey, nothing short of “a miracle, it’s all of God”. He met Rob, the youth pastor of the Anglican church across the road from the uni, and started to coach him to launch a movement. Rob, however, was soon asked by his church to concentrate more on his church’s youth ministry; but he did provide the link for Harvey to meet Greg, a uni chaplain and another Anglican minister.
Harvey’s and Greg’s hearts knit straight away, with the same passion for evangelism and discipleship. His church immediately subsidised five students to go to Power to Change’s Mid-Year Conference, which they loved, and Rachel, a Korean student studying human resource management, rose to be the first leader and Key Volunteer. There was unquestionably a movement there – at the O- week stall in semester 2 that year, Harvey could really see the Holy Spirit at work in the students, as people moved from other stalls to cluster around the Power to Change stall. It was an absolutely electric atmosphere! As a result, there were about 30 students in small groups, led by six leaders. Harvey’s role, in his weekly visits, had been purely to train the students and to guide student leaders.
When we partner with churches with a similar vision to ours, and God works, the results are amazing. Working with churches provides great potential to work with the local body of Christ and launch movements where we know no one.
By Scott Adamson (Feb 2011)