On the 13th and 14th of October 2022 the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia held a discipleship weekend for young people between the ages 16 and 21 focusing on the topic of worldviews. The conference was hosted at the McKinnon church building and led by four speakers; Graeme Hart, the pastor of the McKinnon RPC, Brandon Fisher and Ryan Cerbus, both elders of the McKinnon RPC, and an invited guest speaker, Stephen Tan, the pastor of the Monash Regeneration Church. The weekend included four talks, Q&A sessions, as well as games, and a sunny walk to the park.
We arrived Friday evening and started off the weekend with light conversation over pizza. After dinner Brandon commenced talk one with an introduction to the subject of worldviews during which we looked at the definition of worldview and how it might be approached. We discussed the danger of boxing our neighbors into the sharp categories of worldviews and that instead, we should be seeking wisdom to hear what our neighbor has to say and then answer with persuasive gentleness.
Talk two was led by Graeme who spoke on environmental worldviews during which he unpacked four worldviews: Planetary Management, Stewardship, Life-Centered, and Earth-Centered. Graeme led us through multiple scripture passages to help us think about these worldviews and understand how we as Christians are called to care for this world.
The last talk for the evening was given by Ryan on Gnosticism. We took a brief look at the history of Gnosticism and then dove deeper into how it’s expressed in today’s world. Ryan gave examples of where we can see the characteristics of Gnosticism such as in aspects of technology, views of our identity and even sometimes in the church. He then gave some examples of how we can respond to Gnosticism using Scripture as our guide.
We finished the evening with supper and games before heading off to our night’s accommodation kindly provided by the church and the Hart family.
The next morning we again gathered at the McKinnon church building to enjoy breakfast and a brisk walk to the park before proceeding with talk four of the seminar.
Talk four was given by Stephen who spoke on engaging with Trans Ideologies. Stephen began with opening up the topic to questions and followed with definitions of the word ‘transgender’. Stephen presented three main points on how we can engage with people who identify as being trans: connect, confront and Christ. First we need to connect with them, we must gain their trust and friendship and stand up for their rights. Then we can confront their beliefs, ultimately hoping to lead them to Christ in whom they can find preeminent identity and true freedom.
Overall it was a wonderful weekend full of fellowship and learning from which many good discussions have derived. The youth are thankful for events like these and the people who make them happen.
Thanks to Adele Fisher for writing the article, and for various youth sharing their photos. Adele is 15 years old and a member of the McKinnon RPC. She is currently in year 10 and works at a garden nursery. Adele enjoys the fine arts and getting outside to play sports, go on hikes, and enjoy nature.