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From: Murray Brown, CCCNZ Youth Enabler

 

Easter and Covid-19

One of our youth pastors commented to me that doing ministry in these uncertain times was like trying to stand on quicksand. Just when you think you have a handle on things, the landscape changes and we find ourselves starting to sink.

Maybe you've felt like that as you've scrambled to figure out how to keep your youth ministry going when meeting together is no longer possible?

If you've spent anytime at all on the internet looking for answers and ideas, the problem you face is not that no one knows what to do, but everyone has different ideas and suggestions.

We can easily become swamped as we shift from one good idea to another in an effort to find something that works and keep on working.

Others will feel that trying to juggle a number of balls is a better analogy for what they're facing. Not only are they trying to keep ministry momentum going, but they're also struggling with family demands along with their own stress and anxiety at this time.

In the midst of this uncertainty, and even fear, it's good to remind ourselves that God is our Rock and Jesus is our Saviour. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the pandemic is reaching its crescendo just as we approach Easter. 

Nothing we're experiencing alters the message of Easter!

Maybe this Easter will be especially poignant for us all and maybe it provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to proclaim certainty and hope to a world that is suddenly losing its self-confident, self-sufficient swagger. 


Ngā mihi,

Murray Brown
CCCNZ Youth Enabler 
Ph 0278415321

murraybrown@cccnz.nz 

Support through the pandemic

In deciding how to best support you and your youth leaders at this time, we look to our motto: together works better.

We've done our part by preparing a one-page guide as a good starting point for doing effective youth ministry in a lockdown and we're available to talk to anytime.

However, we don't even begin to think that we alone have all the answers! Yet what we're seeing throughout the country is youth pastors and youth leaders coming up with great ideas and practical solutions.

As a way to share this with you, we are doing two things. Firstly, we're using our facebook group as a means of sharing ideas and asking for help. Visit us here and ask to join this group.

Secondly, we are holding weekly meetings on Zoom for any youth pastor or leader who wants to ask questions or simply talk about how things are going for you - what's working and what you're learning. Check our facebook group for details on how you can join us. We meet Fridays at 10.30am.

Finally, CCCNZ offers support beyond youth ministry. Check out the special Covid-19 page on our website with links to resources, ways to maintain an online presence, along with articles and podcasts we recommend.

CCCNZ Youth Events

The uncertainty over how long we'll be at Level-4 has made it difficult to make decisions around our events planned for 2020.

We've accepted the fact that the Ministry Summit can no longer go ahead as planned.

We're left with three possible options: either postpone until later in the year (with no guarantees), try some form of online Summit, or simply cancel for 2020 and try again next year.


I've been surveying those who attended last year and were planning to come this year, if you haven't responded I'd love to hear from you. We will continue to monitor the situation and let you know what we finally decide. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, let us know.

Similarly, plans for FIRST Training 2020 are in doubt, especially the South Island retreat planned for Queen's Birthday weekend. Again, we'll be making final decisions closer to the time.

Our CCCNZ Youth events page will keep you up to date with developments. 

Online Training & Leadership Development

With none of us able to meet in our youth groups, this is a good opportunity to remind you of three opportunities to keep training and developing your leaders. 

Firstly, there are details of two online training courses on our website. A number of youth leadership teams have already worked through these. Now is a great time for others to go through this training and prepare for when our youth groups begin to meet again. 

Secondly, every week we post on our website a blog post for young leaders based on 1 Timothy. Post a link to these each week in your leaders' social media group as a way to encourage them to look to Scripture as they grow as leaders.

Thirdly, Pathways College is launching a special, one-off "semester", so you can study an online course right now instead of waiting for the next regular semester to start.

Pathways is allowing you to start studying as soon you like. Official course dates are May 18–July 24, but you can start immediately instead of waiting for the course to officially kick off, so you can maximise your downtime during self-isolation. Most of their online courses are available, check out the list HERE. Pathways free on demand courses are also available. 

If you're reading this via a link on our facebook page or website, we can email this newsletter directly to you each month when you sign up here.

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