Day 1 / Three Churches and a Bushwalk
The Melbourne Mission team hit the ground running with preaching, testimonies, and encouraging conversations at three separate churches in North Melbourne!
At Valley Presbyterian Church, a church plant run out of a school gym that has seen significant growth, Mez shared a wonderful testimony of how God revealed to her her identity in Christ and Paul challenged the congregation from Matthew 22:34-40 on what it truly means to love God and love our neighbours. At Epping Presbyterian Church, a recently revitalised church, Victor preached from 1 Samuel 16 where God chooses a new surprising king. Finally, at Hume Presbyterian Church, Ben preached from Jesus’ sermon on the mount, on the radical love that extends even to our enemies!
In the afternoon, Paul also shared his testimony at the Valley Church Men’s BBQ after a bushwalk around where the Black Saturday bushfires occurred 10 years ago. The men of the church have been seeking fresh opportunities to reach out to their neighbours and friends. There was one newcomer who joined us and it was a joy to share and chat over the bushwalk and during the BBQ dinner.
- Thank God for the opportunity to serve, encourage and learn from these three local churches during mission.
- Pray that God would keep showing us over the week the deep need for the gospel to go out in the rapidly ever-expanding new suburbs of North Melbourne.
Day 2 / Church Revitalisation and Seventh Day Adventist assemblies
The team began the day hearing from Nello (Pastor of Epping PC) and his insight into church revitalisation. He shared openly about the joys and challenges of revitalising a church through the hard work of prayer, expository preaching and developing deep relationships with congregation members.
A team of 6 visited the local Seventh Day Adventist school and to run two assemblies.
The primary kids were encouraged to trust in Jesus the Super Saviour, through games, drama, music and a talk on the true meaning of Easter.
The secondary kids were confronted with the decision we all have to make about who Jesus is, hearing a talk and two testimonies as well as some games and a Q&A time.
It was a great time for the 200+ children to hear the gospel and consider the significance of Christ and Him crucified!
- Pray that our team will learn lots from the wisdom and experience of the faithful ministers here in Melbourne. Pray that we do so with much humility and look to encourage them in their ministry.
- Pray for the children at the SDA school who learnt that Jesus calls for a response to Him as Lord and Saviour – that God would bear fruit from the gospel seeds planted.
- Pray that we would be active and bold in sharing our faith as door-knocking begins tomorrow in the suburb of Mernda
Day 3 / Population growth calling for new gospel centres
Did you know that 6 out of the top 10 fastest growing areas in Australia are in the state of Victoria? Did you know that the population in Melbourne will grow from 5 million to 9 million in the next 20 years?
Today we were given an insight into the immense growth happening in North Melbourne. After a briefing by Richard (Pastor of Valley PC) on the stats and sites that will need churches, we headed out on a driving tour to see key areas of development.
Crossing vast stretches of land that will soon be full of families who need to hear the gospel was a clear indicator of the need that will be here. With the goal of planting several churches in the next 10 years, prayerful planning is well under way.
After lunch, the team then turned to doorknocking. This provided even more insight into where people were at with the gospel and with church. Pairs took community surveys that enabled focused conversations. It showed that the surrounding suburbs were culturally, religiously and ethnically diverse.
- Pray for Richard – that God might give him wisdom and guidance in his role of church planting and all that entails.
- Pray that God might raise up faithful labourers for the harvest field of North Melbourne and its rapidly growing areas.
- Pray that seeds were planted in the hearts of those that were approached during doorknocking and that many might investigate the gospel further.