Worship and preaching explored
Early on the morning of July 18, three church leaders from Napranum and five church leaders from Aurukun, travelled to Merluna Station in Cape York for a weeklong exploration of Worship and Preaching.
The unit is part of the Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology that is being offered for the first time this year by Yalga Binbi Institute for Community Development.
Yalga Binbi is an activity of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. This certificate came out of requests from various Congress congregations for leadership training for lay people in their communities.
Various representatives from Congress regions came together in October 2010 to brainstorm on the skills that local church leaders’ desire and need … and so came the Certificate III.
Group Workshops were integral to sharing knowledge
In the most recent unit, the eight students participated in sessions that explored What is church? Why and how do we worship and why and how do we preach?
After getting to know each other a little better, students quickly dived into discussions on cultural ceremony and worship.
They talked of different times worship is done in their communities and how cultural ceremonies have been integrated into some parts of worship.
Half way through the week the students prepared a worship service and then led the whole group in praising God.
Each group had a bible verse that they used to guide them in song choice, prayers and blessings that they may use in worship. It was fantastic to see every person stand up in front of their peers and share the good news with confidence.
Participants at the conclusion of the retreat
As the week went on each student became surer of their own ability to read scripture and apply it to their lives and then to share this good news with others.
For the last day each person took a scripture and gave a mini-message — linking that scripture passage to a story of their own lives, and how that might help others.
Each student was upheld in prayer as they stood in front of their brothers and sisters in Christ and shared their insights into the scripture.
After returning to their communities each of these leaders have led prayers and singing, read the bible and, for some, preached for the first time.
Theirs is a passion and hunger for more knowledge and more experience in proclaiming the word of God to their people in their own way.
For more information on the Yalga-binbi Institute for Community Development see the website.