ABOUT 80 young leaders and trainers from across Queensland are expected to gather on the Sunshine Coast in April for the annual Movers and Shakers Christian Youth Leadership Training Program.
The residential five-day training program, from April 8-13 at Maranatha Recreation Camp, Yandina, will help young leaders from parishes, schools and youth movements to gain quality, affordable leadership training and valuable skills and knowledge.
Movers and Shakers, run by the Queensland diocesan youth co-ordinators, is one of the longest running leadership training initiatives in Australia.
Since humble beginnings in 1991, more than 1500 people have participated in the program designed for 16 to 25-year-olds.
One of the strengths of the program is its ability to combine theory and practical leadership development with different activities to challenge participants.
It also provides a place where young leaders can network with others involved in youth ministry from across the state.
During the week, participants are challenged individually and in small groups to work on problem solving, teamwork and adventure based activities.
The program also includes creative workshops tailored to more closely meet participants’ individual needs.
Malcolm Hart, a ministry development officer for Brisbane archdiocese’s Youth and Children’s Ministry Team, said this year’s program would continue to build on the successes of the past.
“Every year we learn something new about the program and how we can improve the experience for the young people who attend,” he said.
“The program is evolving and constantly growing. It keeps it fresh and dynamic.”
Malcolm said he believed part of the success of the program came from the intentional way in which program leaders model Christian leadership.
“As a leadership team we are very conscious of ‘walking the talk’ and we have structured the program so that young people can progressively take on more responsibility and leadership.”
Siena College, Sippy Downs campus minister Donna McDade, who has been involved with Movers and Shakers for a number of years, said young people from the Sunshine Coast who took part in the program had come back “fired up”.
“They have gotten more involved in liturgy planning, fundraising, and have grown in their confidence and leadership skills,” Donna said.
She said attendance at Movers and Shakers had led to greater participation by young people in the school and parish communities in which they worked.
“We have some really talented young adults who are now running our youth groups because of what they experienced at Movers and Shakers.
“It has given them lots of ideas and provided us with great leaders.”
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