Andrew Yager, CEO of Real World Technology Solutions, and also one of our highly dedicated and passionate PYNSW Summer Camp leaders, shares with us how he got involved with PY back in the 90’s, and now what it’s like to be a leader, as well as managing the challenges of COVID-19.
Andrew Yager’s church, Cherrybrook Presbyterian, has had a longstanding relationship with PYNSW. But young Andrew did not like camping, messy games, or large social settings, so a week long PY camp was ‘off the table’ for a long time. But each time the youth from Andrew’s church returned from PY camp, he could not help but notice, “… People coming back from PY camps that were passionate about their Christian faith, passionate about what they believed, and feeling encouraged to live out their Christian faith, in practical ways.”
Andrew was intrigued. So, at age 15 Andrew attended his first PYNSW Summer Camp. Andrew reflects, “The opportunity to engage with other Christians who were actually like me, and to build friendships with people that were processing and learning about God at the same time, in the same place that I was, especially having guys that I could talk to was just excellent, because at my church there were seven girls and me.”
The quality of the teaching and the depth of the faith of the leaders, encouraged Andrew and his peers to think intentionally about what it means to follow Jesus at a pivotal time in their young lives.
Now Andrew, by the grace of God, wants to have that same impact on the lives of youth. This is why Andrew leads.
“I want them to be able to see who Jesus is. I want them to understand the magnitude of sin, but also the magnitude of grace and forgiveness and redemption that is available for those who believe.”
Andrew’s first involvement as a PYNSW camp leader was as a small group leader at PYNSW Winter Camps, and assisting in the tech and production elements, especially in the early 2000s as technology became essential across ministries. Andrew is especially passionate about this ministry and his role now as ‘Sessions Team Leader’ as it is through this that he has been able to help others build their leadership skills across varying ministries.
Many in Christian communities fall under the impression that means leading very clear Bible studies and having the ability to teach from God’s word very succinctly and effectively. But Andrew is an advocate for leadership across many ministries being able to point people to Jesus. He shares with us the story of the two ‘Davids’:
“They had training in small group leadership, but God had gifted them with a different skillset. Both Davids have particular gifts in production – one is a really gifted videographer, and the other is a really gifted audio engineer, both with a real passion for it… So, we created a space where they could exercise those gifts, but also think through how their understanding of who God is, and what he has done, links with what they’re doing (production).”
Andrew is passionate about training leaders to think through every part of their jobs, as an act of service to those they are serving. “Sliding faders on a sound desk, standing on stage singing, sitting at a drum kit, interviewing someone, stacking chairs… How do you show your love for other people in doing that?”
These critical ministry decisions are only more prominent as Andrew and the PY leadership team plan for PYNSW Summer Camp 2021. Why? Well, Andrew explains, “We’ve had bush fires, floods, drought, global crises, sickness, a global pandemic… How do we express concern, care, and sensitivity to our campers following these experiences?”
The ongoing hard work of the PYNSW committee and leadership team is a result of the recognition that camp is a life-changing opportunity for kids to “…firm up their foundation, the building blocks that they need, so that when life goes south in the future, they know that Christ is safe, that their faith is the thing that can sit at the centre of it all,” shares Andrew. And with 18 months of reduced connection with people, now is the most important time for PY camp to come back better than ever.
Andrew shares, “We’ve gotten too used to life as a Christian being disconnected… But I’m really excited about the opportunity to interact with a large group of people and rediscover the joy of Christian fellowship in a face-to-face way.”
“We need to set up the year right, making positive resolutions to serve Jesus in all we do, telling people about Jesus in a world where they need Him more than ever.”
Will you be there with Andrew and the crew as they rediscover the joy of Christian fellowship and set up the year right, together? Register for PYNSW Summer Camp now.