In 2014 the Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Australia put together the following plan for teaching the young people in the denomination:

Grow Up: Head-Heart-Hand for Youth  

Each year 

Talk with 15-20 year olds about growing up (maturing) in Head-Heart-Hand (Christian Thought, Passion and Action) interaction with a particular topic.  

“Their worldview (how they think) and their character (who they are) impact their attitude (what they think) and their behaviour (what they do). Their attitude and behaviour, in turn, give rise to their habits and their destiny, as they (like we) reap what they sow (see Galatians 6:7).”  

We want to direct our youth to put away childishness, and to embrace adulthood. Too often the world teaches our youth (explicitly or implicitly) to aim for endless adolescence – “a happy, intermediate no-man’s-land of freedom without obligations, somewhere between childhood and adulthood”. (Preparing your teens for college, Alex Chediak, 2014)  

We want our youth to have their minds enlightened, their hearts enflamed, and their lives transformed.  

Topics of particular relevance and importance for youth 

1. The Gospel  

2. How to handle the Bible  

3. Choosing friends and close friendships  

4. Sexual purity and relationships with the opposite sex  

5. Other Dominant Worldviews  

6. Work and Career choice  

At the end of 2021, the session of the Geelong RPC held a seminar for the young people aged 16-21 on the topic of sexual purity and relationships with the opposite sex. The event was held at the Geelong church building, with good weather and even better fellowship forecasted. 12 people attended, and along with some elders from the RPCA and assisting members of the Geelong congregation, and with the aim to inform and equip them with the knowledge and tools for future relationships. In all, it was a very encouraging and insightful weekend for all who attended.

On the Friday evening, Rev. Andrew Stewart had the privilege of opening the seminar talks, and along with some quizzes supplied by Josh Feldman, set the tone for the following talks. He touched on the importance of friendship, and identified that friendship is the struggle that young people face right now. Andrew also pointed out that how what we think about friendship and how we interact with friends lays the foundation for how we live our married life.

Afterwards the young people went to their organised places of sleep, graciously provided by families in the Geelong congregation.

In the morning, after everyone had met back up at the church building, Andrew Stewart gave the next talk, this time touching on the integral part marriage plays in the family life. He looked at how God has created marriage as a place to nurture and develop children, and the responsibilities it brings.

The next item on the agenda was a walk down to the Geelong waterfront, and enjoy the warm, sunny day that was Saturday. Ice cream and a good view over the water was a great change of pace, and it gave everyone a chance to chat and catch up on peoples’ lives post-COVID.

Andy and Susan McCracken took the next session, and split the boy and girls for separate, more specific discussion. I cannot speak for the girls, but the topics Andy talked through with the guys were very enlightening and insightful. The talks were aimed at more specific areas in a married man’s and woman’s lives.

Coming back together, after some sandwiches in Johnstone Park, Brandon Fisher took us through some videos comparing biblical sexuality with the sexuality of the world. In all, it was a richly blessed weekend of talks and fellowship. It was a very insightful topic choice by the session, as it addressed specific questions and clarified an area of much confusion in today’s western culture.

Thanks to Lachlan Hart for writing this article for us. Lachlan is one of Rev. Graeme Hart’s four children, and a member of the McKinnon Reformed Presbyterian Church. He is 19 and studying Civil Engineering at RMIT, and he loves reading a great book to read to pass the time.

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