The ministry recruitment landscape in Sydney, NSW and the ACT is changing.
It is very exciting. In 2010 MTS changed it’s Sydney conference calendar. Instead of running a residential SPUR Conference (formerly called Club 5 or Challenge) on the October long weekend we decided to replace it with a non-residential conference in May.
“Why?” you ask. Well, there were several reasons.
- MTS has realized that recruiting happens best at the local level. It is very hard for MTS ‘central’ to recruit apprentices for a particular church or ministry. Therefore we wanted to run something that was a ‘conversation starter’, whilst relying on local leaders to ‘continue the conversation’ in the way that best fits their context.
- If the conference occurs in May, then people can get organized to start the apprenticeship in the following year.
- The clientele for MTS conferences are usually people who have very heavy conference calendars. We wanted to give them an opportunity to get away and ponder God’s big plan for the world without it costing them a whole weekend and several hundred dollars.
So it is with this ethos in mind that we praise God for the many residential recruiting conferences that have sprung up since we made this change. We’ve been working in partnership with a number of entrepreneurial NSW and ACT leaders who are running their own local conferences:
- Carl Matthei, Phillip Jensen and Joshua Ng will be running residential conferences at Port Hacking over the October Long Weekend 2010 to recruit for their different ministries: UNSW, Sydney Anglican Ministry and International Student Ministry
- Bonita Waddell is running a non-residential conference in a suburban house for Cumberland Campus of Sydney University (AFES)
- Canberra just ran their first ACT conference on September 9-10. In the past they travelled north. I attended this inaugural conference. Fifty candidates attended, along with 20-30 trainers … great stuff!
- Others are:
- hiring houses in the Blue Mountains for their church group for a weekend
- Working through All for the Kingdom in small groups over four weeks
- Having ‘SPUR dinners’ in houses and restaurants … it is just great.
As the MTS Director I rejoice in these initiatives. They are sensational. This kind of movement evolution must take place if we are to reach our target of 10,000 ministry apprentices recruited and trained by 2020.
MTS is working in close partnership with these friends who are ‘continuing the conversation’. We’re providing a variety of services to people mentioned above, including:
- event management tools
- online registration services
- resources such as hard copies of All for the Kingdom and soft copies of strand materials, just to name a couple.
MTS central is just a catalyst, a prod; at best a goad to the movement.
The non-residential SPUR Conference helps some get the conversation started, but it is the locals who must continue it.
Please pray for the movement in this exciting time of growth.