Fifty young people from the Anglican Church of Chile (Iglesia Anglicana de Chile - IACH) have attended a training camp this month to learn how to make disciples in their local churches. This year’s El Campamento de Formación (Formation Camp - CDF) was organised by the Province’s Centro de Estudios Pastorales (Centre for Pastoral Studies - CEP) as part of a scheme that is now in its 14th year. Pastor Cristóbal Cerón, the Rector of the CEP, said that the aim of CDF is for each young person to see the camp as part of a process in his life, where they are trained to serve in their local churches and train disciples; and to teach the Word of God in an appropriate way.
The CDP is the only time in the year in which young people from different parts of the country gather together for training to exercise leadership in their local churches through biblical teaching and discipleship.
The program included workshops composed of group devotionals, personal mentoring in groups of three, plenary sessions, biblical courses and specific youth-oriented workshops.
The biblical courses are fixed every year and are oriented to deliver theological tools to each participant in order to study and teach the Bible in a better way, the IACH said. The organiser of this year’s CDF, CEP student Francisco Flores, said that it is structured training with compulsory modules each year, including exegesis, biblical theology, systematic theology and discipleship. The CEP is developing the scheme to provide certification to the young people who have completed a four-year course.
In relation to the workshops, each year are different and are taught by students of the CEP. In this version "Flash Workshops" were implemented, since they lasted only 2 hours a day and addressed topics such as violence in polo, pornography, premarital sex, depression, drugs, social networks, feminism, among others.
Sebastián Tapia, a youth worker at St Johns Church in Concepción, took part in this year’s CDF. He said that the workshops and devotionals “more than in information and knowledge, had a special emphasis on shepherding the hearts of the participants, reminding us of what Christ did for us.”
Pastor Cristóbal said that the CDF was designed to raise up young leaders in the Church. “The training of workers starts at an early age and we now need to devote ourselves to training our people”, he said. “When we pray for the Lord to raise workers and send for the harvest, it is not something that happens overnight, but we should be looking for that prayer to be answered from Sunday school.”
He said that within Chile and throughout Latin America there was “a biblical malnutrition in the evangelical youth”, resulting in fewer pastors to take charge of churches that know the power of the Scriptures to transform lives.