We Need To Look At Our Current Reality With Sober Eyes
We all want to reach Australia with the gospel. We want to see our friends, family and colleagues come to know and love the Lord Jesus. That’s a rallying point that we can all get behind.
And yet, at present, we’re facing an increasingly uphill battle. The average church size is no more than 70 across Australia, and ‘No Religion’ is now the fastest growing category of belief in Australia (ABS Census). What’s more, 56% of Aussies say they don’t even know anything about their local church.
56% of Aussies say they don’t even know anything about their local church.
In the face of these challenges, church pastors and ministry teams are working harder than ever – with many of them reporting they feel stressed and insufficiently trained for the task.
The Launch of ‘Reach Australia’
All of this is the reason for the launch of an exciting new ministry: ‘Reach Australia’. Its great desire is to be used by God to help us reach Australia for Christ. And to keep this aim front and centre, we’re calling it ‘Reach Australia’ – nothing fancy, crystal clear.
There are a couple of convictions that inform its shape.
The first is that the key to reaching Australia is the local church – its spiritual health and vitality, its grasp of the gospel, and its ability to mobilise the gifts God has given it.
The second conviction is that the key to the health of the local church (humanly speaking) is its leadership – its pastors and teachers.
The key to reaching Australia is the local church. And the key to the health of the local church is its leadership.
So, what is ‘Reach Australia’?
‘Reach Australia’ a fresh initiative designed to help church leaders and their teams better grow our churches in spiritual vitality and theological clarity. We want them to be skilled in their ability to mobilise the saints so that we can see thousands (millions even!) converted to Christ and so saved on the last day. Imagine!
Reach Australia is a fresh initiative to help church leaders and their teams better grow our churches.
How is this new?
Don’t we already have numbers of different groups working to help pastors do what they do better? Sure. But the thing that is new with ‘Reach Australia’ is that we are now bringing together a number of like-minded organisations so that we can do something far greater together than each group has currently been doing alone.
At present, there are a number of theologically aligned ministry development ‘centres’ or ‘institutes’ at work around the country seeking to help and train pastors (think Vinegrowers, Team Pastoring, Oilstone, etc). Each has its own flavour and each tends to have particular strengths. And each only reaches a particular group or network.
Reach Australia brings together like-minded organisations to do something far greater than ever before.
‘Reach Australia’ is the first step towards bringing them together, so that each particular strength can be enhanced by the strengths of others, and each network joined into something of a movement. Our aim is to have our best theological minds and our best theologically formed ministry practitioners all together in one place, working together to form up ministry training for established church pastors and their teams.
And this training will go beyond merely downloading content at a conference. It will include a coaching structure, opportunity to be part of training cohorts, quality resources, and church consultancies; all of it backed by dedicated staff gifted in getting things to happen.
And it will bring alignment. Imagine the best of our different ministry models properly dovetailed so a pastor can get help in one direction rather than feeling like he is choosing between competing ministry philosophies?
And imagine all of us together as a movement rather than broken off into competing conference structures? We believe under God we will be able to get ‘critical mass’ and so actually see things really change.
But this isn’t just a leadership development program. We want to deepen and skill up, but we also want to help each other wake up! Energise, envisage, and be stirred!
Our first conference is on June 26-28 and we’ve love to have you join us. Details to register are here: https://reachaustralia.com.au/conference/
Under God, imagine what He might do among us and through us? We pray that He will work wonderfully and that we might actually see great progress in the cause of the gospel across Australia in the years ahead.
The Gospel Coalition Australia is a proud partner of Reach Australia.