Eighteen youth leaders from around our diocese gathered in Wellington on Saturday the 15th of September to be part of the Soul Tour. The Soul Tour website describes it as “an intensive course for young adults, focused on holistic personal development. It aims to equip participants to better understand their own human mind, emotions and behaviour.”
Anglican Youth Movement (AYM) Hutt Valley regional co-ordinator Andy Spence says: “We wanted to offer our young people an opportunity to look at their mental health and underlining assumptions they make that influence their behaviour, emotions and thinking. We wanted young people to be healthier in their thinking and self-esteem, able to fight the ‘demons’ inside themselves – often coming from their own thinking and experiences.”
The course is now being led around the world by founders Matt and Belinda Stott, who have adapted the Christian counsellor Dave Riddell’s material to produce the course. It has been developed over a number of years, and it was something that Andy Spence says played an important part of his earlier ministry days, having been through the course in early 20s in Christchurch.
The group came predominantly from AYM Houses in Wellington, with some coming from our Whanganui and Palmerston North whānau, and a couple of Blueprinters in attendance as well. Andy says: “It has opened up conversations and further discussions for those people and given them tools to start to work on themselves and their well-being, mentally. We had comments such as: ‘this is life changing and has helped me identify what I was thinking wrong and also why I thought those ways. It has led me to discover who I am and why I do what I do.'”
“God was moving by just pressing in on things that have influenced our young people and helped them identify and set a plan on how to work with them.”