How the church grew: Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach Baptist Church lies 20 minutes north of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales. It began as a non denominational church in 1990 and joined the Baptist Union of NSW in 1993. It was planted in one of the lowest income areas of the country, according to census figures, with more than double the national average unemployment. That and the lethargic coastal lifestyle have made ministry quite a challenge over the past decade and a half. Nevertheless, the church has witnessed an increase in attendance from 20 to 70 over the past five years. Pastor Terry Allen shares something of the journey as they have sought to revitalise their church.  (more…)

Tips for engaging in post-Christian culture

Mission in the Post-Christian West is really tough but thoroughly worth it! For the last ten years my passion has been to see unchurched Australians introduced to the mind boggling fact that the creator of laughter, the Cheetah and the Orion constellation personally loves them and is going to makeover the world minus all the bad stuff. This reality makes me determined to cut through the antagonism and apathy that arises in unchurched Aussies at the sound of the word “Christian”. I tend to be someone who learns by doing and so I have learnt enough things to fufill a small aircraft hanger. Here are three. I hope, like a good robust massage, they are slightly painful but yet ultimately healing. (more…)

Sparking creative missional thinking

The journey of those seeking to embrace the missional church approach is often a very confronting experience to say the least. The younger generations seem to embrace this way more readily than slightly older pilgrims. One reason is that the emerging missional church speaks easily into their lifestyle and cultural framework. For slightly older and more crusty ecclesiological enthusiasts (like me), it is a tad more difficult as there is the need to “let go” entirely of the paradigms for doing church that have shaped many of us over the years and to learn a very different method and way.  (more…)

Issues impacting mission in Australia: a rural perspective

Left to right, one step at a time. How a small, rural church community learnt they could work together to bring their mates closer to knowing Jesus. (more…)

Vital in the bush

What does a rural church full of vitality look like? Well, it’s not defined by size, or location, or style,
or budget, or building. (more…)

To yearn for the wide boundless ocean

This quote by the writer of The Little Prince gets at the nub of the problems many of our churches are facing. Too many church leaders have tried to marshal their members into the technicalities of ship-building – that is church growth – without having first inspired them with a yearning to sail the high seas. Christians, though, should live for the sea. If we can reinvest our members with a yearning for the wide, boundless ocean of mission, the issues associated with building church will be far easier to address. How do we teach people to yearn for the ocean? (more…)

Church meets local school needs

Coastlands Baptist Church is a small church in Burnie, north-west Tasmania. Towards the end of 2005 the church began discussing how it could be more missional and relevant in today’s society. After prayerful consideration it was decided that Kids Hope was one of the ways this could be achieved. (more…)