THROWING paint might seem an odd way to explain Jesus Christ’s redemption, but for All Saints youth ministry co-ordinator Ryan Andrews it’s an engaging and practical way to show how Jesus’s death washes away the “mess” of life.
The youth group met on Friday April 4 for Death by Paint, where the young kids aged 11 and 12 threw paint-filled balloons to create a “mess” that would eventually be washed off.
“The idea is that in order to make the time of Lent really engaging for our youth group was to make it somewhat “messy”, interactive and practical,” Mr Andrews said.
“The paint in a way will recognise sins, weaknesses, or times of inadequacies which will be washed away on the night to symbolise Christ’s redemption.”
This “messy” night is one of the ways All Saints Youth Ministry has captivated the 11 and 12 year olds who come each Friday night during the school Term.
Zara Carnes has been part of the youth group since she was 15, and now at 21, has taken on the role as a youth group leader.
Miss Carnes said her commitment to the youth group was “all for the kids”.
“When you’re doing something really great for them, making them feel good about themselves, and making them feel like they have a place and they’re accepted somewhere, it’s really empowering for me to be able to be a part of that,” Miss Carnes said.
“What I really like about youth group is it’s not a forced environment to feel certain ways or anything, it’s very free for these kids to also be kids, but to also learn about the bigger picture.”
Miss Carnes said the Lenten focus for the Term shared in the overall parish’s work to show the true meaning of Lent.
“I think Lent is a time for reflection about faith, and what it means to you,” she said.
“It’s easy to forget during Easter what it’s actually all about – you get caught up in the chocolate and everything else.
“The church here provides a lot of opportunities for that kind of reflection so it’s easier to remember what’s going on.”
Mr Andrews said seeing his leaders “step up to the plate” was an important part of his role.
“To be able to step up and be a role model for these young people is so important and for me, I think, gives purpose and a sense of fulfillment in my life. I came from a surf life saving background,” Mr Andrews said.
“For me it’s not about leading, just encouraging others.”
Mr Andrews said he wanted young people to remember that Christ was the centre of their lives.
“Being able to make them aware of that, or allude to that for them, is something I’m really passionate about and I see so many joys in it you know, whether it’s a simple task of helping them on the street or talking about faith,” he said.
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