GROW Leadership

Cultivating young leaders....

Following the overwhelmingly positive response to the National Youth Forum that was held in April 2015, Grow Ministries was invited to develop a new training initiative. This initiative will provide continuing and sustainable leadership development for young adults of the Lutheran Church of Australia that includes a regular National Youth Forum and Christian formational leadership training.

We are very excited to announce the participants of our inaugural Grow Leadership program.


QLD - Elsa Matthias

SA - Katrina Rohrlach, Tayla Priebbenow, Joel Grieger , Holly Pietsch, Dora Blieschke, Renee Hein

WA - Manuela Scharlach, Oliver Swift 


Eprista Tampubolon, Delmi Rohdearni Saragih - Indonesia

Pastor Hay Sopheourn, Touch Kev Sreyleak - Cambodia

Rahael Jaukae, Krystle Haro – PNG


These young adults will arrive in Adelaide on Wednesday 18th January 2017 for their first intensive together at Nunyara Conference Centre.

During this week participants will delve deeper into leadership, theology and spiritual reflection.

Emma Graetz (Grassroots Training) will take the helm at the beginning of the journey as we spend two days learning about Christian leadership. Emma will deliver the leadership component of the Cert IV of Christian Ministry and Theology.

Rev James Winderlich (Principal - Australian Lutheran College) has eagerly agreed to facilitate the theology elective taking us on an adventure through Adelaide – the city of churches!

Lyn Benger (Child and Family Encourager - Salisbury Lutheran Church) and Vicki Rochow (Grow Leadership Coordinator) will walk with the participants on a spiritual retreat.

We will also be visited by Rev Neville Otto (Secretary - LCA) and Jodi Brook (Grow Ministries Director) who will sit ‘on the couch’ while we ask them all sorts of fun questions.

Erin Kerber (Program Officer - LCA International Mission) will finish the first leg of the journey with an insight into the wonders of Cambodia and what participants can expect during their trip in July!

Please keep the participants in your prayers as they prepare for the journey ahead.

We would like to thank the 50.500 committee for their support and providing funding for this new program. We also welcome our partnership with LCA International Mission.

What’s involved?

  • A part-time commitment for a period of 11 months
  • Two face-to-face intensives 
  • Intensive 1 18-25 Jan, 2017 | Intensive 2  4-10 Dec, 2017 (Dates TBC)
  • Participation in a ‘Stretch and Grow’ experience to Cambodia
  • 29 June—10 July, 2017 (Dates TBC)
  • Regular one-on-one mentoring
  • Minimum of 18 hours of local congregational leadership

  Our goals for you….

  • To experience a mentored and reflective faith adventure.
  • To grow and be renewed in the gospel (head, heart and hands).
  • Empower you to become a  leader by equipping you with skills to help you contribute to the church and the wider community.
  • Have a deeper knowledge and understanding of Lutheran theology and how it can contribute to identity and make sense of life and the world.
  • Opportunity to  experience the ministries of the LCA and how they complement the ministry of Districts. 
  • To develop a sense of pride in our Church.
  • Discover and understand Christian vocation in the world.
  • To grow relationships across the generations.
  • To connect deeply with your local faith community.


$2000 - We encourage you to seek support via sponsorship and fundraising through your congregation and personal networks.


Applications for 2017 are closed.

GROW Leadership Coordinator Vicki Rochow


Further details....

We are very excited about the opportunity that the GROW leadership program offers to the young adults of the LCA. There are two intensive weeks, a trip to Cambodia, mentoring and an involvement in a ministry within your congregational home. You may still be wondering how that will all work so I would like to give you some broader information.


WEEK 1: This first week will see us delve deeper into leadership, theology and a time of spiritual reflection. You will also learn more about what you will experience in Cambodia. We are just putting the final details of this first week together and it’s shaping up to be an excellent week of experiential learning. 

WEEK TWO: The focus will turn to exploring ministry, including effective practice, handling the stress and other skills needed to be effective leaders. We will also learn and understand the workings of the wider LCA (Lutheran Church of Australia) and enjoy a celebration of the journey we have had together.

Is there a certificate at the end?

As part of the intensive times in the program, we will be inviting Australian Lutheran College (ALC) to run some of their subjects from their Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology course.

There is the option for you to do the assessments required for completing the subject, allowing you to continue this course in the future. This will be an added cost to your Grow Leadership fees. If you would like to know more about the Certificate IV course, you can contact Emma Graetz at ALC to discuss this further ( or visit their website:

You will receive a certificate of participation that will be recognised across the LCA.


We believe that mentoring is a very important part of this program. We would like you to find an older adult within your faith community/congregation that can meet regularly with you and encourage you on this journey. We believe this will help you to grow spiritually and also as a leader. It gives you someone to share the journey with and to keep you accountable.

Congregational Focus Leadership

One of the goals for this program is that you will become an integral part of your congregation (if you’re not already.) We believe that all people should be given opportunities to serve and lead within their congregation – no matter what their age. Over the course of the year we would like to see you involved in a ministry of your church in a leadership role for a minimum of 18 hours. That’s approximately 2.5 hours per week.

What kind of ministry involvement?

You may already be involved in a ministry, such as children’s ministry, youth group or a music group. Is this a leadership role? Is there a way that you can become more involved and take on more responsibility? We will help you work through this with your congregation should you be selected, but perhaps you could meet with your pastor or other leaders to talk about this as you work through your application. Is there something that you are really passionate about that you would like to see happen? Could this be the catalyst for you to have a go and get started? It could be the ideal opportunity as you will be supported by your mentor, the Grow team and your congregation.

Stretch & Grow Experience in Cambodia

Look forward to being immersed in an amazing country. The history of Cambodia is very sad but the future is incredibly bright. You will have an opportunity to discover the past, see the present and hear about the plans for the future. The Lutheran Church in Cambodia is only young but they are vibrant and extremely resourceful. You will be able to see the projects that are changing lives and meet the wonderful people making it happen.

During this time we will have an opportunity to visit a village and spend three days using your gifts and talents with the young people of the village Phum Krus.


Participation in this program will mean you need to make yourself available for four weeks of the year for the intensive times and the visit to Cambodia.

Questions you might have:

Can I study at university or be working and still be involved?

Yes! Our hope is that you will be able to comfortably manage your study/work and this program together.

Our intensives are not within the uni year technically, so we hope this will allow university students to manage that time commitment. There aren’t any big assignments involved, just a small amount of reflective work during the year, the mentor relationship and the ministry involvement which is a minimum of 18 hours throughout the whole year. We hope it is a manageable program that will slot into the life of a uni student. It is important that you are up to date and organised with uni assignments etc. and ready to go to Cambodia by the 29th June, this will involve good time management on your part. 

If you work, you will need to ensure that you will be able to have the time off required to attend both intensives and the trip to Cambodia.

Am I able to complete this program from anywhere in Australia/New Zealand?

Absolutely, we are eager to have participants from all over Australia/New Zealand involved. As long as you can get to an airport to fly out to the intensives and Cambodia, there are no limits! 


50.500 website - CLICK HERE



National Youth Forum

A three day event for young people held every three years prior to LCA/NZ General Synod. The next event will be held in 2018.

The National Youth Forum provides an opportunity for young people (potential leaders) to come together from across LCA/NZ to network, be inspired by and engage with the leaders of the LCA.

The workshop style format allows young people to network, engage and wrestle with and add their voice to the debate on some of the big issues facing the church and society.

Some comments from the 2015 participants...

"The best thing about the forum was meeting some incredible people who share the same passion and love for the Lord. Learning new ways in which we can help our churches for the future."

"This weekend has inspired me to support the church in as many ways as I can! To show youth can be a part of it and have an opinion heard as much as adults do. I am inspired to go back to church and tell everyone how this weekend has been and what we have learned."

"For me, the thing I most valued was gaining an extra appreciation and understanding of the Lutheran beliefs and practices I have grown up in. I also really enjoyed meeting other young Lutherans and wrestling witht the tricky discussions that our church is having. I was encouraged by the way our Church seems to be remaining solid even in the midst of our society's challenges."