This year-long program began in 2023 as a pilot program and will return in 2024. The program will be delivered across four terms, as well as some in person camps during the year. It is aimed primarily at those graduating Year 12 in 2023, but recent school leavers aged 17-19 may apply.
Typically a gap year is a one year program intentionally focused on the formation of young adults in the areas of growing faith, personal development, engagement in community, and opportunity in ministry. It gives young people time and space to consider their future choices and how their Christian faith informs the choices they make.
The program will cover Bible & Theology, Ministry Skills, Life Skills and Personal Godliness and will commence on Tuesday 23 January, 2024.
GAP YEAR DIRECTOR: REV SIMON ALLERY (TOWNSVILLE)
Simon, along with others, oversees the Next Generation Ministries at Willows Presbyterian in Townsville as well as overseeing the 6pm congregation. He has completed a combined Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Ministry through Queensland Theological College and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church of Queensland. He is also a trained high school teacher.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: KATE MITCHELL (BRISBANE)
Kate has worked for Presbyterian Youth & Kids in Queensland since 2012 and also assists with the children’s ministry program at Ann St Presbyterian Church in Brisbane. She has completed a Master of Divinity through Sydney Missionary and Bible College.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: CHRIS PINE (BRISBANE)
Chris is the Kids, Youth & Young Adults Director at Living Church Carina where he has been on staff since 2007. Chris brings extensive experience in discipling young people in a variety of contexts.
This program will take place in three main areas – online, local church and camps
ONLINE COMPONENT – TUESDAY AFTERNOONS 2-4pm (2024 Content)
- ASSIGNED BOOKS
During the year, participants will make their way through the content of 4 books:
God’s Big Picture – Vaughn Roberts
King’s Cross – Timothy Keller
Dig Even Deeper – Andrew Each & Ricard Alldritt
10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (& Answer) About Christianity – Rebecca McLaughlin
Participants will be expected to have their own copies of the assigned books (new, second hand or borrowed)
- ASSIGNED ARTICLES
Each term, participants will be assigned additional articles to read or podcasts to listen to, and discuss with the group.
- ONLINE DISCUSSION
A weekly Monday afternoon Zoom meeting will take place for 2 hours. This will include reviewing the content covered during the week, as well as life and ministry skills. These will be interactive discussion based sessions.
- PASTORAL CARE
A local supervisor will meet weekly or fortnightly with participants, with program directors checking in during the term.
If at any point the participant is finding the content ‘too much’, they are able to discuss this with the Program Director
LOCAL CHURCH COMPONENT
- VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT & SUPERVISION
Each participant is expected to volunteer in a ministry area/s at their local church for around one day a week (or equivalent). This should be done under the supervision of a staff member or ministry coordinator, with support provided by the program director. It is expected that participants would also be attending a regular church service and Bible study.
There will be opportunity for participants to connect during time away at various points during the year. In 2024, participants will be attending Kids Weekender North, have dedicated time away in Term 2 and attend a holiday camp during the Spring school holidays.
Beyond these commitments, participants have flexibility in how to structure their time during the week.
To participate in this program THERE WILL BE NO UP FRONT COSTS. Any costs will be direct to the participant, and there will be no direct cost to the denomination or churches. However, there will be indirect cost to local charges (time etc.) Participants should allow up to $2000 to cover associated costs other than the program itself. These costs will occur during the year, as opposed to being a lump sum at the start of the year.
Participants are encouraged to have part time work to help cover costs, but this is not a requirement.
CAMPS Under $1000 (exact cost dependent on camps attended)
TRAVEL COSTS $TBA Dependent on location
BOOKS $100+ (if new)
Options are available to help anyone facing financial difficulty.
Any church is welcome to participate in this program. It is not intended to be a ministry apprenticeship, and will not result in a ‘qualification’ other than a certificate of completion.
If you are approached to be a local church supervisor, then someone is asking the following of you.
You will provide supervision for the individual as they participate in 8 hours of ministry involvement (whether one or more ministries). This is mostly to ensure this component is taking place.
- MINISTRY SKILLS
This may mean giving opportunity for the participant to use skills they may have learnt during the program or providing different ministry experiences like:
Youth or Children’s Ministries
- PASTORAL CARE
Please plan to meet weekly or fortnightly with the participant. While those delivering the program will catch up with participants during the course of the program, pastoral care will primarily come from the local church. The program directors will catch up with you at various points about how the participant is going.