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Luke striving to make a difference in young lives at Carindale

Luke Terrancini has a passion for seeing young people put their lives in God’s hands and bringing out the best in them.

Luke Terracini is the Next Gen Ministries Coordinator at Carindale Corps (Qld), supporting young people of all ages from the start of the pandemic. Salvos Online writer ANTHONY CASTLE asked Luke about his role.

What is the role of Next Gen Ministries Coordinator, and what does it entail?

I started as the Next Gen Ministries Coordinator in the middle of 2019. The whole idea of the role is to coordinate the different teams. I work with young people of all ages, from pre-high school to high school. We run a range of programs like Mainly Music and Playgroup. We have kids’ church, and I run Just Brass with the local school. We do dance classes and run a Kids in the Kitchen program. There’s youth group as well.

It sounds like you started in the role just before the pandemic hit. How has that shaped the work your teams do?

I was on staff for about six months, getting to know the role. I had just started to look at the children’s ministries, just started Just Brass, and then the whole thing shut down. We needed to reprioritise what we were using our time and resources for. Some programs were good, but the amount of energy that went into them wasn’t practical. We redirected that into something that had better connection and reach with young people.

Coming out of COVID, the youth group is far more relationship based. Rather than putting on a product for them or something we thought was best for them or youth in the past. We just focus on spending time with them and getting to know them. We couldn’t meet in person, so we met on Zoom, growing that relationship with them. Rather than run a two-hour program and crash through a bunch of games, we sit and talk with young people, talk about their weeks and the stuff they’re facing in their life.

Luke speaks at a recent youth gathering.

What’s at stake for the young people you work with? What type of challenges are they facing?

Carindale Salvos is located in a funny spot. Within the few streets around us are some massive and really expensive houses, but we also have a lot of housing commission houses around us as well. This is reflected in the young people and families we work with. They can come from vastly different family situations, so obviously, the challenges that they each face are also vastly different.

There are some that have immediate material needs, which we are able to provide practical solutions for. There are some with different emotional or spiritual needs as well. We also have plenty who just love to come and hang out and be part of the community here. It’s a bit cliché, but our young people also face plenty of pressure through social media or school about who they are or who they think they should be. Identity is such a huge thing for young people.

What difference do you see your work make?

At the small local school we work with, they don’t have many resources. We do Just Brass with them, and that has led to other opportunities, including being part of the Breakfast Club run by the chaplain once a week.

The Kids in the Kitchen program has connected with quite a few disadvantaged families too, teaching them how to cook a meal, how to do the shopping and budget for it. There are lots of practical ways we can make a difference in the lives of young people and their families.

One of the real positives is that we’ve had young people leave our programs when they go into high school but remain in contact with our ministries. It’s easy to think you come and do your program, talk to the kids and then they go. You can ask, ‘What’s the impact?’. But they’ve seen enough value to keep coming back, which is the reason we’re here; to build relationships with young people.


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