This week I’ve come across, for this first time, a self-proclaiming Atheist Anglican, or Anglican Atheist (he hadn’t worked out which one sounded better).
We started our conversation as I was sitting next to him on the train, heading to Wahroonga. I had the opportunity to explain to him that I was coming because there was a group connecting with a church, keen to tell people about Jesus. Very quickly his confusion arose “Why would you come to Wahroonga? Have you seen the houses here? We don’t need Jesus. We don’t need anything!
When it comes to Jesus, though, that’s when things get murky. Don’t let the manicured lawns and expensive car fool you. The need here is great.
And as a team we’ve been so encouraged, splitting off into groups, and getting to see what St Andy’s is doing to see people trust in Jesus.
One of the ways of trying to connect with the community has been going into shopping centres and talking to people as they pass by. Many people here are aware of the nearby Anglican church, but they haven’t recently engaged with a church or who Jesus is. These pop up stalls have been a great opportunity, but at times have been frustratingly difficult. Not because we haven’t had opportunities to chat, but because people cannot fathom why we would be doing what we’re doing, in Wahroonga.
As a whole, reaching the next generation has been a strategic connection the church has identified. The School’s Ministry has been an intentional push, a wise move when the best education and achievement are such important factors for he families here. Personally, as somebody who has never been won to the idea of chaplaincy, seeing the chaplain for Barker College present the gospel to so many, in such a short amount of time was incredible. Andrew Brown (also affectionately known as Brownie, Rev Brown or the Reverend) has developed an incredible relationship with the school, the kids and the parents. We had the privilege of seeing him present the news of Jesus’ death, explain why we need Him to die in a challenging and entertaining way to 80 kids and even more parents. Meanwhile, Brownie ducked out quickly to answer questions a parent had about what Bible to read as English was their second language, helped a newly Christian parent think through the dynamics of juggling church and other commitments. All of this in the first hour or so of the school day.
That is just the story of one school visit (we have also witnessed Abbotsleigh Boarder’s Chapel, Barker Scripture, Bush School Scripture among others).
For your prayer
- Please thank God for the fantastic work the church has been doing at connecting with the local students, and presenting them with Jesus.
- Please pray for the team as we come towards the home stretch, that we would have energy, but also don’t fail to see the great spiritual need here.
- Please keep praying that St Andrew’s will continue to seek to see people won to Jesus, long after this week of Mission is over.