This article was taken from our annual publication Snapshot, published in March and written by our Youth Mobiliser, Kirstin Cant.
To learn more about Better World, visit the website here or download an application for 2020 here. Applications close November 1st.
The dream is still the dream. The challenges are still the challenges. The call is still the call.
NZCMS continues to have a vision of growing young leaders for the Church and raising up future long-term missionaries who are passionate about the gospel and equipped to do their part in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.
There are many ways NZCMS seeks to do that with its mobilising team throughout New Zealand. We invest in and mentor leaders. We facilitate and train teams. We speak about God’s mission wherever we go. We journey with a wide range of young adults throughout the province who are exploring their next steps into mission. We have our new model of the Mission Internship Programme - for individuals who we journey with for about 1 year and during that time they spend 3-6 months as an ‘apprentice’ to a Mission Partner of NZCMS (or partnership organisation) in a cross-cultural location.
But there is still room for more ways to engage young people in mission. We saw an opportunity and launched a new programme in 2019.
Here’s what we've seen and learned about young people: Most young people in New Zealand are interested in and passionate about issues of social justice around them but many do not know or understand that these issues are central to the Christian faith and the gospel. So to engage in this space, we have created a new Social Justice focused Gap Year called Better World.
Better World is a 10 month, full-time programme that takes the team on a journey in Wellington, New Zealand (5 months), Suva, Fijia (6 weeks) and Cambodia (4months). It is centred around issues of social justice in our world today and putting those issues into a context of biblical truth, the Great Commission, and God’s heart for these issues in the world. The programme is designed for young people who are seeking to grow in their understanding and experience of what it means to follow Jesus, to serve the Church, and join in God’s mission.
Better World also has a strong focus on spiritual formation and developing both the competency and character of the young participants with the end goal of preparing them for ministry in the New Zealand church and around the world. Better World aims to take a young person’s desire to ‘make the world a better place’ and turn that into a mature understanding of the role the Church can play in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth - joining in on the ‘better world’ that God has planned and is at work redeeming.
We focus on four social justice issues - Ethical Consumption, Climate Change, Urban Poverty, and Refugees and Migrants.
We see Better World as a critical part of the pathway for growing young people with a Global Mission heart-beat and are excited to create this opportunity in 2019. There is a comprehensive team of exceptional people who are bringing about Better World:
Guy and Summer Benton, who joined NZCMS staff in January this year, are the creators and coordinators of the programme, along with the support of Kirstin Cant, our Youth Mobiliser.
Much of the daily instruction of the Better World participants is carried out by two Team Leaders who live and travel with participants throughout the year. We're delighted to have two exceptional leaders for 2019; Sam Tovey, and Luca Duckworth who both have significant experience to offer in terms of cross cultural living, local mission and ministry engagement, engaging with issues of social justice, living in intentional community, youth work, and administration. We've have taking on Sam and Luca as Short-Term Missionaries in these roles. Sam and Luca are raising support to serve Better World and are committed to the vision of raising up young leaders for global mission.
Better World also engaged Kate Day to develop and teach the majority of the curriculum for the Wellington Block. Kate has a decade of experience in Christian activism for social justice and is the Advocacy Enabler for the Anglican Diocese of Wellington.
The whole NZCMS staff team have roles in supporting and enabling Better World to happen. We're so grateful to be continuing to step into what God is doing in New Zealand, faithfully serving and providing our skills and support to see young people joining in on God’s mission.
The dream is still the dream.
We are a part of it.