By Emma Moxham
This post was first published at PYNSW.
Alan Au had the privilege of growing up in a Christian household where his family attended a small Chinese church, and although Alan couldn’t understand all the things they were saying as there was not an English speaking pastor, he knew from a young age that church was everybody’s business.
As a high schooler, as a uni student, although he may not have had it “all together” (as many of us can relate to), Alan could clearly see church was and is everybody’s business as it was so clearly modelled through older men and women. This meant that he had a sense of ownership of his faith from a young age, along with thinking about the question of discipleship. “Yes, we have a pastor who leads us, but we keep our Bibles open, and we pray together… That’s what some of the older guys did for me, and that’s what attracted me and what firmed up my faith.”
Alan is now the Senior Pastor at Captivate Presbyterian Church in North Ryde, alongside his wife Beatrice, and three young children, JJ, Teddy and Harry.
Earlier this year, Alan had the privilege of being one of the three Speakers at KYCK22. He describes KYCK as, “A reminder that you’re part of something bigger, in the Word, in a very tangible expression of that in fellowship.”
When asked what it was like to be a Speaker at KYCK, Alan shared, “As a Speaker you have the privilege of sharing God’s Word, and you’re just always surprised by the way it touches and takes root in people’s lives in different ways. It was lots of fun and super encouraging. There’s something about youth, they’re just very responsive… These guys are thinking about their friends, and life in such deep and substantial ways.”
The topic of this year’s KYCK was from the Book of Philippians with the theme of joy! Specifically, joy in the midst of suffering for the sake of the Gospel. Alan shares, “I think lots of young people really resonated with this because while it is easy to get hyped up for the Gospel in a big place like KYCK… I had lots of young people share with me about how it’s not easy being a Christian at school, or in this part of life where you’re figuring a lot of things out for yourself… What do you care about? What’s worth sacrificing?”
The Influence of KYCK
For Alan, he believes that high school is an extremely formative time of our lives and it is absolutely vital that youth groups take advantage of the awesome opportunity that KYCK is for two main reasons:
- “You’re going to be encouraged in God’s Word to live as a high schooler for Jesus.”
- “It reminds you of God’s bigger picture. That God’s people are bigger. God’s mission is bigger.”
“Youth have a lot to give to the wider body of Christ, whether that’s in the local church, or in the mission field – I don’t get to be in a high school five days a week, but they do!”
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.