The Trinity College Queensland Activate Program will enter its third year in 2020. Activate offers 18-30 year old’s the opportunity to invest twelve months in preparing themselves for the rest of their lives. Students complete a Diploma of Ministry, participate in numerous personal development activities and serve in local, regional and overseas mission contexts. As is the case with many new initiatives it has evolved throughout the last two years. We recently spoke with the program Director, Simon Gomersall to explore this movement:
Q: If you had to explain Activate to someone in just a few sentences, what would you say?
Simon: I would say the program was originally conceived as a “gap year” program, but has morphed into a ‘discipleship bootcamp’.
Q: What do you mean by that?
Simon: When I ask students about the best parts of their Activate experience, rarely do they name the barista course, the Story Bridge climb or the high roles course as their highlights. The things that light them up are either the growth gained by immersing themselves in biblical and theological study or the thrill of seeing God work through them in a mission context or the profound benefit of weekly prayer, worship and sharing in the Activate community.
Q: That seems unexpected?
Simon: It is. Though I have quickly realised we often underestimate the depth of commitment and desire within our younger generations in the church. The media parodies them as a self-interested, entitled generation. My experience is that as they face a rapidly and discontinuously changing world (a world we gave them, by the way), they are resolutely searching for what is true in a culture of ‘fake news’, for what is right in a world where anything goes and for what really matters in a prevailing climate of rampant self-indulgence.
Q: So how do you support them in that quest?
Simon: By putting into their hands the tools to become God-dependent, Christ-trusting, Spirit-empowered difference-makers. We teach them to read the bible faithfully and intelligently, to pray for others without weirdness, to share the Christian faith with both confidence and sensitivity and to care for others wisely and appropriately. A former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once quipped, “The secret of success in life is to be ready when your opportunity comes.” It’s hard not to get excited about young people wanting to be equipped to serve God in any context. That is the heart of the Activate program.
Q: So, what encouragement would you give our readers?
Simon: That’s simple, every person who has done activate so far, has come to the program as a result of someone else tapping them on the shoulder and suggesting they give it a go. That ‘tap on the shoulder’ has ended up changing numerous lives. Do you know a young person who would benefit from Activate? Tap them on the shoulder.
Q: And where do we get more information?
Simon: Go to www.trinity.qld.edu.au/activate for more info. On this site you can download the prospectus and application form.