A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.
6th June 2004
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It is sometimes said, “Christianity is only one generation away from extinction”.
It is not true for Christ is the ruler of the universe whose present reign over earth will only be concluded by his return in glory to judge all people.
However the saying is trying to capture a great truth that every generation has to repent and accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. As another saying puts it “God has no grandchildren.” The promise of the gospel is to us and to our children, but our children must when they come of age own the Lord Jesus for themselves.
The primary source of Christian education is the family. The Church must also help not only the Christian families who are educating their children in the discipline and nurture of the Lord but also the children who do not have the advantage of a Christian family.
The future of any church is its ministry to children and young people. Children are not to be left outside, as the disciples tried to keep the children away from Jesus as Salem, but included in the congregation of God’s people. For to such little ones belong the kingdom of God. However they do have special educational needs and in our fast changing world they have their own culture in which we have to express the truths of the Gospel.
On Sunday mornings during Church we have a crÀche, a Sunday School and also special lesson time for the choristers. This is the beginning of our work providing special education for the children of our congregations.
Friday afternoon has seen an important innovation in reaching the next generation with the Gospel. The programme is called “Platform 7”. It meets in the Chapter House from 4-5pm and is for students in years 10-12 of High School. In each of the first four weeks of operation, over 60 students have attended from as many as 12 different schools.
The aim of Platform 7 is to build and encourage Christian students from across Sydney. This is to be done by meeting Christian students from other schools and churches in the context of Christian teaching. It is hoped that it will have a flow on effect in their ministry of the gospel in their own schools and church youth groups. There will be time and opportunity to invite non-Christian friends to Platform 7 as well, and so there is hope for real evangelistic outreach in the days ahead.
This is the Cathedral ministry at work. We are providing this in conjunction with Anglican Youth Works, and the Cathedral school. Our aims are to help the parishes and their youth groups by training their senior high leaders. While it will hopefully have some spin off benefits for our own ministry to the Cathedral youth, it is aimed to serve the diocese.
Once established we are hopeful of duplicating this ministry at other key centres around the diocese, so that all year 10-12 students can reach a similar programme by 4pm on a Friday afternoon.
Please pray for Platform 7 and especially the staff and congregation members involved: Michael Clark, Allison Street, Tim Bowden, Simon Breakspear and for the Anglican Youth Works staff: Jodie McNeill, Tony Willis, and Al Stewart