The Entrance Church Plant
Members of The Entrance Church Plant team visiting the rented Lisarow house.
Eastward Missions is co-launching The Entrance Church Plant on the Central Coast NSW this month! Eight young adults are about to converge at Lisarow just minutes away from Ourimbah Seventh-day Adventist Church - the 'mother.'
Literature evangelism, personal Bible studies and small group meetings will underpin our strategy to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the region. We aim to start a Bible and Spirit of Prophecy rooted church that continues spreading the Gospel of Revelation 14.
The team: Julie Dearham, Emmanuel & Liesl Higgins, Colin Hone, Tim Hopkins, Ettienne & Michelle McClintock, Bruce Niyibitanga, Kayla Reay, Dylan Smith, and Jylan Wynne.
How can you help?
Would you like to help us kick-start the canvassing work? We're inviting anyone interested to join a 2 week canvassing intensive over March 10-24, with a focus on making friends and finding spiritual interests. Contact Emmanuel through firstname.lastname@example.org or 0468 321 559.
Please pray that we don't fall to the "danger of trusting to human plans and methods," but rather do a work "accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ," which "will in the end prove to have been efficient for good." -The Desire of Ages p. 362.
You can directly support our church plant by giving offerings through egiving.org.au.
How does this fit in with Eastward Missions' goal to run a mission training school?
The church plant will give us valuable experience in Bible work, public evangelism, running small groups and long term discipling. We'll sort out what works and what doesn't. Individually, and as an organisation, we'll be better equipped to train up future missionaries. Learning by imparting, as The Ministry of Healing recommends (p. 402): "... As they learn, let them impart their knowledge.... Whatever his calling, he is to be both a learner and a teacher as long as life shall last."
Prayer before canvassing
Eastward Missions will also strengthen ties with the NNSW Conference. We're grateful for their strong early support; a large grant from the conference church plant fund has fully subsidised our house rental costs for 2019.
Along the way the team plans to fine tune literature evangelism based church planting methods that can be reproduced across Australia by self-supporting Gospel workers.
How did this come about?
Back in April 2018 during Big Camp, Eastward Missions met with NNSW Conference leadership.
"How can we best support the church?" we asked.
Emmanuel had put together a list of ideas - and church planting was on it. Pr Tom Evans took a strong liking to the possibility because it fit conference strategic plans perfectly. He encouraged us to attend the church plant workshops running during Big Camp, and didn't waste time giving us a shortlist of potential locations.
We were a little caught by surprise and weren't expecting such a quick turn of events. Church planting involves commitment. It isn't done on a whim.
During the next month while canvassing down the QLD coast we turned over pros and cons. Prayed. What was the best thing we could do with our time? And church planting was the answer - where should we go?
Enter Colin Hone. Eastward Missions had asked Colin to speak at Music Camp 2018. Colin traces his conversion to reading a book given to him by a Seventh-day Adventist literature evangelist on Bondi Beach. He'd been keeping busy as a speaker and evangelist for Dennis Smith's Holy Spirit Ministries.
Sometime in June, Colin rang Emmanuel to clarify some details for Music Camp. Colin shared his vision of planting a church on the Central Coast during that call.
"We're thinking of planting a church too!" Emmanuel said.
Colin was intrigued. He'd been following Eastward Missions for some time and loved our work in literature evangelism. Colin didn't take long to invite the Eastward Missions team to partner with him launching a plant at The Entrance. And we didn't take long to accept.
The team chose to launch in February 2019. It seemed such a long way off last year, but how time has flown! We kept very busy in between canvassing around Australia, running Music Camp, D'Sozo Camp WA, Cultivate Conference, the Melbourne canvassing program and Literature Evangelist Advance.
Now we're here at the very beginning. We're eager to see how God unfolds the future.