How do you reach students not interested in student groups?
It’s a Saturday evening, and a group of more than 20 Indonesian students and young workers are gathered together for church at the Trinity Chapel at Macquarie University. Since the start of 2018, Macquarie Indonesian Trinity Church has run in the Bahasa Indonesia language, providing faithful Bible teaching for the Indonesian students looking for a church service.
The church sprang up after the realisation that many Indonesian students were not connecting with the Christian student groups available to them.
“They arrive here, they’re not here for long and they’re not looking for a student group – they want a church,” says the Rev Timothy Mildenhall, the chaplain at Robert Menzies College, a residential college affiliated with the university.
The group was initiated by the Indonesian students connected to Trinity Chapel Macquarie and has become a key gospel training ground. Mr. Mildenhall believes many of the students can make a big impact for the kingdom wherever they are.
“We started this [service] to try and reach and connect, train and network Indonesian students at Macquarie University,”
Since starting the group, the spiritual growth of the students has been a great encouragement. Many have stepped out of their comfort zones and are being bold in evangelism and discipleship.
“Two students have stepped up, for the first time, to preach the word of God in public,” Mr. Mildenhall says. “Another has started mentoring another student, meeting one-to-one and reading the Bible, something she has never done before. Another continues her eagerness to do women’s ministry within the community and beyond.”
Fewer than 10 percent of Indonesians identify with Christianity, so helping Macquarie’s Indonesian students grow in their faith is a priority for Mr Mildenhall and his team.
“We want to do as much as we can for them so that the gospel is what grips them, for whatever God has in store for them,”
“Our main objective is to train students in [different ministries], one-to-one ministry and preaching the word of God.” Mr. Mildenhall says.