Coming to Christ – Clement Hui
Clement Hui’s first experience of Christianity was being invited to youth group by his high school friends to an Anglican church in Western Sydney. He loved going along to have fun and make friends. Clement reflected that he identified as a Christian during this time, but had not truly acknowledged how sinful and in need of a Saviour he was, especially after some poor choices throughout high school.
It wasn’t until his cousin invited him along to his current church, Gracepoint Presbyterian at Lidcombe that he truly heard the Gospel message for the first time. It was during this time that Clement learned something very real about the Christian experience, “On the one hand, I am more sinful than I ever dare to admit, but on the other hand, I am more loved than I can ever hope for.”
As a high-school teacher, turned MTS Apprentice at Gracepoint Presbyterian (Lidcombe), Clement is now on his journey to pursue full-time ministry.
The beginnings of youth ministry @ Gracepoint
Soon after Gracepoint was planted in 1998, it became clear that a growing number of teenagers were beginning to attend. These teenagers became the genesis of Gracepoint’s youth ministry. As it continued to grow, it was clear to the staff team that they needed to employ a Youth Pastor to consolidate the youth ministry that would help grow God’s Kingdom and benefit generations to come. Most of the funds to start this ministry came through the generosity of a Gracepoint family in 2007 who donated a large sum of money for this purpose.
God provides. Today, we see youth ministry established over all three of the Gracepoint campuses: Lidcombe, Burwood, and Granville. This took time, resources, organisation, and much prayer, but as Clement says, “We are now able to reach a wider audience and demographic across the campuses.”
The conviction of youth ministry @ Gracepoint
“We want to see youth living extreme lives for the sake of the Gospel, hence the name, ‘Extreme Youth’. We want them to grow to treasure our Lord, Jesus Christ, and allow that love of treasuring Him to outflow into the city, wherever they have been placed in, whether high school, sport, or work, or to university and the workforce as they grow up.”
Clement continues, “We really want the youth to treasure Christ above all else and allow that to shape the way that they live in the particular context they have been placed in. I think the temptation for youth ministries in general is to create a heavy focus on shaping the actions of our youth. For example, “This is how you live for Christ, so you need to do X, Y, and Z…” But I think it is far more crucial to grow affection for the Lord and for that to outflow into the desire to live for Him.”
What does weekly youth ministry at Gracepoint look like?
“Each week after our Sunday morning service at each of our campuses, around 11:30am, our youth gather together. Depending on the leader, there is usually an interactive activity, some sort of introduction to get the youth to slowly become acquainted with one another, but also just to have some fun. Often the activity is related to that week’s study, or the theme for the term. From there, we dive into the prepared studies from a book of the Bible, with a particular big idea for that week… For example, ‘What does it mean to live as an exile?’, ‘What does it mean to live in a way that realises that persecution is a reality?’. We often wrap up this time around 1pm as parents come to pick the youth up.”
One great thing about the setup of these Sunday morning studies for the youth is that while the youth are having their bible study, their parents are too! Clement shares that, “Often the youth will come with their parents to morning church and participate in their service. Then at the conclusion, the parents split off in their group, and the youth into their group.”
What is the importance of bible studies in youth ministry at Gracepoint?
“Bible study needs to be the centre of all we do. Gathering around God’s Word because God’s Word forms. Not just as the anchor, but as the authority… Allow that to transform what they know in their heads and allow that to transform their hearts in terms of what they love and to transform their actions in terms of what they do as a result. But all of that needs to be grounded in God’s Word.”
Stories from Gracepoint
Clement recently chatted to a Year 11 student that joined one of their campuses earlier this year with some friends of his. This particular student attends a Catholic school which led to some interesting discussions about his familiarity with scripture and understanding of Christianity, such as…
- Why do we place such a huge importance on ‘all of this’?
- What is it about Jesus that makes Him so important for us to grow in affection for Him?
- Why do we spend time together on Sunday’s to read God’s Word?
Clement reflects, “I think that’s massive. I personally hope to see each youth in our youth ministry face the truth that we cannot take for granted what we believe. It’s not about what our parents believe, not about giving the Sunday school answers… It’s about understanding that we need to take this stuff seriously and take ownership of it… Helping youth realise that, is a big win.”
Praise God for the work that God has very clearly been doing in youth ministry at Gracepoint Presbyterian Church. As we go out to love and serve the Lord, Clement asks us to pray ?
- Pray that the leaders may continue to love the youth, but also take time to get to know them so that they may be able to better equip them to not only grow in their affection for the Lord Jesus Christ, but also to be prepared and equipped to face the challenges that the present world brings, especially challenges to their understanding of morality of identity.