Tuesday at famous Bondi Beach. A summery 26ºC; sun shining. Not quite sitting hunched over a desk in the College library,* but I guess someone has to do it!
It’s one thing to enjoy a few days in the sun on College mission (though I promise we’ve been working hard!). But how do you go about convincing someone who lives in this paradise that there’s more to life than sand, surf, and suntan?
Senior minister Martin Morgan has a few ideas. Martin has planted independent evangelical and Anglican evangelical churches in Orange and Rouse Hill, as well as working for Church Army, an Anglican-affiliated network of evangelists. After several years of consolidation, Bondi Anglican are in the process of opening a new face to the community. Martin’s evangelistic and church-planting experience – not to mention his prodigious optimism! – has led him to a strategy of seeking to minimise barriers to the gospel. Everything else is up for grabs. Currently he and assistant minister Blake Hatton are painstakingly door-knocking their way through the community, putting a human face on the church and inviting each household to check out the claims of Jesus.
Our team has been helping out with this task, leafleting and door-knocking the streets around both centres, and in the next few days we hope to do more of this. As Martin & Blake look toward the possibility of planting a new congregation in the Bondi Beach end of the parish, we’re particular asking those we meet what they might be looking for in a church. Hopefully the question will give the team and the church a richer picture of perceptions of Jesus and Christianity in the community, as well as what some local barriers to the gospel might be. Watch this space in the coming days – we’ll share some of what we’ve heard with you.
*DISCLAIMER: I actually really do love being hunched over a desk in the College library. It might not be quite the same as Bondi Beach, but it’s a magical place. If any MTC Library staff are reading this, please forgive my rhetorical flourish!