The Youthworks Ministry Support Team (MST) is team of expert youth and children’s ministry advisors who are trusted across Sydney and NSW as leaders in Christian ministry and practice.
The team supports Anglican churches in their ministries to children and young people. Each team member coaches a group of local churches, working alongside youth and children’s ministers, creating local networks and identifying and encouraging effective youth ministry practice. The team also delivers large scale training and events, including youth leadership training and holiday camps at their various conference sites. This collective work is completely aligned to VFFF’s Christianity funding outcomes, notably that Young people have positive, engaging experiences that encourage their participation in Christianity.
The Ministry Support Team has access to:
- 280 Anglican Churches in the Sydney Diocese
- 250 youth and children’s ministers
- 2500 volunteer leaders assisting in youth, family and schools ministry
- 1000 Primary and High schools via Special Religious Education (SRE) classes
- 1000+ young people annually via Leaders in Training and weekend youth camps
This capacity to work at scale provides significant efficiencies. A three year VFFF grant that concluded in 2022 was successful on three fronts – establishing a new youth ministry role in Western Sydney, facilitating critical support to church leaders during the pandemic and enabling the successful set up of the Youthworks Effective Ministry Tool. This tool is a game-changer for the use of evidence in local church practice, providing each participating church with a snapshot of progress against the principles of effective youth ministry. It is also increasing the effectiveness of the MST to train, coach and advise local ministry leaders to grow youth and children’s ministries in their churches.
One of the findings from VFFF’s last grant period was that whilst churches are good at delivering Christian ministry TO young people, they are less effective in enabling effective Christian ministry BY young people. As this is a key driver of long-term Christian faith in young adults, further MST work will focus on building capacity of local churches to increase the agency of young people in their faith journeys. An $800,000 VFFF grant (2023-2025) towards core operations of the Ministry Support Team will support the growth of the team from 8 to 11 staff and accelerate their work in building youth agency, youth retention, local church capacity building and thought leadership in effective ministry practice.