Weekly Newsletter from Senior Pastor Paul Dale
It was wonderful to gather last week for our ‘Thanksgiving and Vision’ evenings, especially to hear stories of what God has being doing in our churches in 2018. Praise God for the number of people who have come to faith, grown in their faith and served so sacrificially during our ‘year of care.’
Looking forward to 2019, we excitedly announced our focus as the ‘Year of Courageous Faith’! Our prayer is that as two churches in partnership we’d be 'on mission with courageous faith’. It struck me recently from Matthew 9:37-38 that the harvest IS plentiful. I know we often focus on the workers being few, but the harvest really is plentiful. And the Lord gives us the strength and courage to live lives which shine and speak the gospel into the world. I’ve also been struck by John 1, where Phillip courageously says to Nathanael ‘Come and see’ – come and check out the man Jesus! The power of a simple invitation is one we often overlook.
With that in mind, here are a few goals for 2019:
- PRAY for 5 friends daily. Write down the name of 5 people you’d love to courageously share your faith with, and pray for them every day!
- INVITE 3 friends to an Explore Course (Alpha or Christianity Explored) in 2019 – they might say ‘no’ – but they might well say ‘yes’! If every adult member invited 3 people, and if just 20% said ‘yes’, we’d have around 500 guests at Explore next year!!
- INVITE 5 friends to an event in 2019 (Easter, Christmas, a kids event, an outreach event).
- INVITE 5 friends to church in 2019 – every Sunday should be a good Sunday!
- PRAY for 100 newly baptised believers in 2019.
- PRAY for many more 18-30s in our church family (boldly ask for 100!?)
We also announced some new initiatives for 2019, here are just a few:
- Fortnightly testimony videos across all our gatherings (pray for the Lord to provide a ‘media team’ to assist in this ministry).
- The possibilities of an additional Playtime in Kirribilli, a new after-school club in Neutral Bay and an additional Mega Monday in 2019.
- Starting a ‘Youth Connect’ bible study for teenagers on a Sunday afternoon.
- Sarah Condie has agreed to change roles slightly to become ‘Well-being & Care Director’ – to assist in training in pastoral care, equipping in courses such as marriage, parenting, living single, divorce care, and promoting wholistic well-being. Our goal is to have teams of 10 people in each congregation who have been set apart for care.
- In 2019, God willing we will preach through James, Nehemiah, the doctrine of Atonement, One Question for God and continuing in Luke’s gospel.
- Our Connect Groups will be ‘on mission with courageous faith’ in 2019, sharing testimonies and sharing stories of courageous opportunities!
- The Leadership Development Group is a new initiative for 2019! I will run this course on Wednesday evenings, looking at Leadership, Doctrine, Biblical counselling, Ethics, Church History, Mission and Apologetics.
- The new website for Church by the Bridge is now live (many thanks to Rob Moller, Pip Streeter and others), and the St Augustine’s one will be completed in a couple of weeks time. Our focus for 2019 will be on our social media strategy.
One of the big initiatives for 2019 is our ‘Winter Escape’. A weekend away for all 8 congregations, where we will have significant times in our congregations, as well as altogether time. We have booked an international speaker and author who will help us think through Courageous Faith. The dates are 9-11 August, so please SAVE the DATE! We are praying for 500 adults and children to make this a memorable and significant weekend in the life of our church. More details to follow.
Please do pray to the Lord of plentiful harvest, as we enter this ‘Year of Courageous Faith’ – that He would be honoured and His kingdom bear much fruit.
With love in Christ