Every year teams of students from Christ College visit churches in different places, to get experience in varied ministry settings. This year Randy Yue led a team of students that visited St Aidan’s Presbyterian Church in South Wagga Wagga.
Randy is currently in his 3rd year of part-time study at Christ College. He says, “I started working at Ryde Presbyterian Church as a Pastoral Assistant. I wanted to study at Christ college so that I could train to be a minister.”
Unfortunately due to COVID-19, Randy missed out on his first Mission Week in 2020. However in 2021, he had a great experience learning from Sydney ministries outside the church. He says, “I went as a participant in a mission based in Sydney. We spent time at Sydney University with Power to Change, and also with City Bible Forum, a workplace Christian group, which was good.”
Leading the mission to Wagga Wagga
For 2022 Randy was asked to head up a mission team going out to Wagga Wagga. Randy shares, “it allowed me to step up, and to be more involved in the planning, the organisation and in the leading of the mission.” His role as team leader gave him the responsibility to create the week’s program in collaboration with the minister of St Aidan’s Presbyterian. It was also his task to organise his team. Randy assigned them tasks and worked with them so they had opportunities to minister using their strengths, as well improve on their less developed skills.
With a few unfortunately missing due to COVID and other illness, Randy went out to Wagga with a diverse team of 11. This included: eight students with a mix of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years, one faculty member (Jonathan Pratt), two spouses and one 17 month-old!
Learning and serving in the church and beyond
The team was in Wagga from a Sunday to a Sunday in April. This meant they were able to visit services at both St Aidan’s in South Wagga and St Andrew’s in Wagga. Randy says, “I actually preached at St Aidan’s and St Andrews, which allowed me to experience preaching to 2 different congregations.”
The team also visited bible study groups, led music and spent time with different church ministers, elders and workers, hearing about their church and ministry.
Outside of the local church, Randy and his team also visited some other ministries and workers, like a couple of local chaplains. He shares, “We spoke to an army chaplain assigned to the army base in Wagga. [He shared with us] the struggles and the joys of being an army chaplain.” They also visited the chaplain at the local Anglican school and spoke to a woman who had previously been chaplain at the Juvenile Justice Centre.
These conversations and experiences during the mission were important for the team. Randy says, “discovering that pastoral work doesn’t always have to be in a church situation, but it can also be in a chaplaincy situation where you are ministering to people outside of the church [was a great experience]. It’s vital and often overlooked.”
Randy and his team also put on a Thursday afternoon service called Hymn Fest. Randy says, “We had different people sharing a little bit about each song and Jono, who planned the program, also did a short talk.” The service was put on at St Aidan’s in collaboration with some local musicians.
The encouragement of mission week
With so much potential for disruption, including further team members getting sick or bad weather changing travel or ministry plans, the mission week in Wagga Wagga went well by God’s grace.
Randy says, “Overall the mission was an encouragement to us, of all that was going on at the church. For us to see a community of people working together well for the gospel in a small city. They have a great ministry there with lots of people who love God and really want to work together to build the kingdom of God.”
Reflecting on his team, Randy was thankful for the group and how they worked together throughout the mission week. He says, “We had a really positive experience in our group. The church was fantastic. But what made it really, really good was everybody came prepared in their hearts to serve and put in 110% to do what they had to do. As well as make themselves available whenever we had something come up that wasn’t planned.”
To learn more about studying at Christ College, visit https://christcollege.edu.au/study/why-study-at-christ-college/