Recently at PYNSW, we have sought out ministry workers across NSW who we are calling, Presbytery Youth Reps (PY Reps). PY Reps are individuals who focus on developing an understanding of what is happening within their area at local churches, specifically in their youth ministries, to see if there are opportunities to bring people and resources together.
Our PY Rep for Sydney’s Inner West is Danny Ford (Lead Pastor, Joshua Tree Petersham Presbyterian Church). We had a chat to him about becoming a Christian, youth ministry, and being a PY Rep.
The Formative Years
It was a simple, faithful invitation to kids club at the local Presbyterian church from a friend in Year 3 that first brought Danny to church regularly, and then to youth group as well. Danny shares, “… about 10 years after that initial invitation sitting in a fairly small bible study, I was confronted with the words of Jesus, and from that point on became a follower of Jesus.”
The same friend who faithfully invited Danny to kids club and youth group, invited him to PY Camps. As Danny reflected, “I began very reluctantly. My same friend who invited me to kids club invited me to every PY Camp in high school. I either declined or pulled out at the very last minute. So for six years I never went to a PY Camp, but I finally gave in. What a great opportunity it was to meet a whole range of like-minded people across the state.”
The Ministry of PYNSW + Being a PY Rep
Danny shares, “The teenage and young adult years are the most formative years for us as people in the world… This means that we have a great opportunity for intentional, specific ministry to this age group. Getting them to hear of and understand Jesus’ invitation to follow Him is really central. Society’s changing a fair bit, so there are lots of different pressures on young people. This means it’s really important for us to be engaging with them. They’ve also got lots of energy, so they’re pretty fun to be around.”
At the recent General Assembly of the Presbyterian Churches in the State of NSW, the current PY Reps met together to get a sense of what’s happening across the state. Whether in big churches or small churches, Danny reflects, “It was really encouraging to hear different things that people are doing to reach out to the young people in their community.”
Looking at the Inner West, Danny says, “I’m trying to get a sense of what various churches are doing to see if we can bring people together. I mostly do this through meeting with Youth Leaders over morning tea to find out where things are at.”
“Recently, we have been working together with some local churches, both Presbyterian and non-Presbyterian to try and host a combined youth event.” This particular event, ‘Life Worth Living ‘22’ is an initiative of Ignition that brings together youth groups, cross-denominationally to host sharply evangelistic events. To learn more about Ignition, head to their website, or check out our recent article with Murray Smith from Ignition!
This is really the core of what the PY Reps do, bring people together who are local, on the ground, everywhere, doing good work for the sake of the Gospel.
List of Current PY Reps
Canberra – Vacant
Central Coast – Sylvester Siu (pending official appointment)
Central Tablelands – Stephen Fong
Central West – Peter Tamsett
Hunter – Vacant
Illawarra – Dal Proudfoot
Mid North Coast – Vacant
Northern Inland – Jarrod MacNaughton
Northern Rivers – Vacant
Southern Rivers – Dave Hayes
Sydney East – Vacant
Sydney Inner West – Danny Ford
Sydney North – Josh Lum Mow
Sydney South – Jim Mobbs
Western Sydney – Hugh Prattis