Kat is our Youth Ministry Intern.

“I am involved with NEXT program at Whitley College, which is a faith formation program. It is a mixture of a Diploma of Theology, personal growth, and forming your own faith. The program challenges you to look at the theology you’ve developed over the years, to examine what the influences were, and to generally put your theology under the microscope. The program allows room for participants to grow up, as they understand why they have particular values and theology. The outcome is that at the end participants will have shaped their faith into something that they can stand on as they make the transition to adulthood.

As part of NEXT, I am doing an internship with the Youth Group at Albert Park. This means I am working alongside of Michele Sterkenburg with our Youth. Youth Group provides a place of safety, a place for the youth to be who they are and talk openly about their faith and opinions. Just having a place to talk about their faith is a big deal, because they can’t talk about it at school, or within their friendship groups.

I am hoping to explore more deeply the questions the young people have about their faith. I’m interested in how they are developing and forming their faith. I want to understand the sources of growth and development in their theology and how they wrestle with doubt. I’m also interested in how the church respond to this. Not just our church, but a range of them, so I’ve also been visting other churches to see what they do.

Through the internship I am learning there is no right or wrong way to how the church approaches supporting the faith of young people. I think it’s about what fits each community, the important thing is that it’s got to be really flexible and able to adapt quickly. For example, we’re planning on doing some teaching about Jesus parables but everyone came with a whole bunch of questions about doubt and what it means, so we responded to that by addressing these things.

Personally, other than just learning a lot about God, I feel like God has been telling me to stop studying Him so much and be with Him more. God has been getting more involved in my life, and making me notice that. I feel much more connected and aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.

I am also grateful for Albert Park Baptist Church. I love the community and I love the support of the people – it’s really the people at Albert Park that does it for me. They are the reason that I keep coming back every week, even now since I’ve moved house and I have to travel over an hour to get there on a Sunday morning. There is an amazing sense of family and community amongst everyone there. So be able to serve the youth at this church – which I was a part of when I was at that age – it’s lovely to be able to give something back to a community where I’ve received so much.”