At Ignite17 we gathered 450-500 youth and young adults from our CALD churches across Victoria, and with some interstate visitors. We recognise that young people of diverse cultural backgrounds will lead the Church into the future and Ignite is a space where we are investing in them!
This is our 3rd Ignite Conference, and over the years we have built up a committee and network of emerging leaders from our CALD churches. They have invested their time over many meetings and planning for the Ignite Conference.
Hearing from dynamic and engaging speakers stimulated deep conversations on identity and faith and following Jesus, whilst having opportunities for fun, and making friends from other churches – even dancing together!
We heard from Mark Yettica-Paulson, an Indigenous Baptist and director of Recognise movement, who spoke on shining your light in the world; Carolyn Francis, Pastor at Collins St Baptist Church, who helped us explore faith as building up our communities; and Sam Chan, 2nd Gen pastor from Adelaide, spoke on #MADYOLO (Make a Difference, You Only Live Once) – check out the summary of his talk below.
Sam spoke about #MADYOLO and that every generation needs to find a way forward for themselves.
He used three examples of different generations. Firstly, he grew up in the 90s, a time when there was video tapes, cassette tapes, walkmans, film cameras… things that are almost unrecognisable to today’s generation (the millennials) growing up with their social media.
Secondly, the bible talks about a number of 2nd Gen and 1.5 Gen – great leaders who found a way forward. Moses and Esther were both 2nd Gen. Daniel and Joseph were 1.5 Gen. The bible also has 2 main models of leadership.
The rise and fall of leadership – which can been seen through the judges; and
Succession leadership – which can been seen through King Saul, David and Solomon
The third example is the 1st Gen. Sam’s parents came to Australia in the 70s as students. Australia was a different place then, (the white Australia policy was cancelled in 1973) there was no China town in Adelaide until the 1980s so even finding rice and soya sauce was a challenging task. Sam’s parents were settling in a foreign land where the language, culture and way of life was a daily challenge. They couldn’t afford much communication or travel back to their home country and had no family support or financial aid. In amongst all these difficulties, they came to know Jesus through campus ministry, got married and Sam’s brother was the first 2nd Gen baby born into an Asian Migrant Church in Adelaide. They were in the pioneering congregation of the first Asian Migrant Church in Adelaide. Sam’s dad was a deacon for 20 years and his mother was a Sunday School teacher and cooked lots of food. They spent much time, effort and money serving in the church and were involved in with the weekly running of the church as well as camps, picnics, choir, hospitality and helping other migrants like the Vietnamese, Cambodians and East Timorese to settle. Sam’s parents helped to find a way forward for their generation, as have many of the first generation in migrant churches in Victoria.
These migrant churches are where us as 2nd Gen are born and grow up. We have watched our 1st Gen leaders build the church. Now is the time. Like Esther in the bible, a 2nd Gen, she came to royalty for such a time as this. Can we 1.5 and 2nd Gen learn from the 1st gen and continue building the church for our generation and the next?
Every generation needs to find a way forward for themselves.
Let us Make A Difference because You Only Live Once!