When the Lord tells you to do something, you have to do it. God is on the move in Europe. He wants people to know him. He wants young people to transform society.
In 2009 a number of us began to dream of a programme that would bring together young Europeans to train them in how to build university outreaches and eventually transform the world. We started a programme called Student Workers Outreach Training (SWOT) that slowly grew. Two years ago we heard about the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme and started applying for funding. In May 2015 we heard that our application had been successful and that the Erasmus+ programme wanted to partner with us to run a week long training conference. The Student Volunteer Leaders Training (SVLT) programme had arrived! This co-financing allowed for a number of groups and individuals to attend who previously would not have been able to attend an international conference.
This gave us three months to organise and pull off a large-scale conference. Within a few weeks of being notified of this funding, we had a planning weekend in Munich where the core team assembled and began to work on content and preparation. The desire to pull off a quality and high-level conference was clear in all those present.
This week-long conference was a taster of what God wants to do in Europe. Languages and cultures are overcome, friendships are formed across nations and young people start to dream God’s dreams for Europe. It was also a time for learning from one another and from the facilitated training sessions. The Lord was speaking and inviting the young people to take what they were learning and go transform the world.
The Student Volunteer Leaders Training project brought together 50 young people from 10 different countries for a week of training, activities and networking at Mullartown House on the Northern Irish coast, a short drive from Belfast. It was co-financed by Kairos, the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, and eight different Kairos-associated groups. The main thread throughout the week was the Leadership track which looked at topics like Character and Integrity, Fostering Change, Leadership Skills and Handling Conflict.
Leadership track: Fostering Change; Character, Integrity, and Purpose; Handling Conflict; Leadership Attitudes and Skills; Planning and Analysing an Event; Kairos – Where to Now?
Call and Vision track: Vision; Teams and Structures; Your Place; Planting
Contributions track: Building Growth-Oriented Environments; Challenges and Obstacles; Your Role in Growth: Courage
Effectiveness track: Cycle of an Outreach; Increasing Professionalism; De Bono Thinking; How to Get the Right Work Done