Last Sunday, 37 of us gathered at the first New Service Information Session. The purpose was to give us an opportunity to ask questions and to contribute to the conversation, hear about the thought process behind this initiative, and to pray together.
In case you missed it, here’s a short summary of what we covered.
- We remembered our history: We began by remembering where we’ve come from and how God has been growing us over the years.
- We were reminded of our theological direction: We were reminded of our church’s vision and mission, shared values and REAL discipleship in giving us the theological direction for our ministry together as God’s people who gather together at Camberwell South Anglican Church.
- We studied the Bible: We briefly studied Ephesians 4:1-16 to remember what God has done for us, what he expects of his leaders and what he expects of every Christian.
- We clarified the need to plan for growth: We explored the need to prepare for growth as we currently experience (1) a practical problem of not being able to welcome one another and visitors well into our church each week; and (2) the growing physical constraints of our church building as we discussed research around the issues of reaching 80% capacity and hitting the 200 church growth barrier. We thought through these issues as we considered the statistics of church attendance over the past 20 months. From a base of 75 average attendance in January 2017, we began averaging 128 people in February 2017, 148 in April 2017, before stabilising with 131 in December 2017. By May 2018, we were averaging 169 people every week, which dropped to 156 during the winter exams and holiday season. Now that the winter break is behind us, our average weekly attendance has returned to 174 people.
- We reaffirmed our commitment to be a multigenerational gospel shaped community: Though we do not have plans to offer kids church at the new 5pm service, we will be encouraging people involved in our 5pm service to serve in the kids program in the morning, and older men and women in our 10am service to join our 5pm service to disciple and mentor younger men and women as we see beautifully instructed in Titus 2.
- We clarified oversight of the new service: We explained that there are no plans to increase staffing to facilitate this new endeavour. The service and its program will follow the same sermon series and structure as the 10am Service. When I’m rostered to preach, which is approximately 70% of the time, I will preach at both services. However, when I’m not preaching, there may be opportunities for different preachers to speak in the morning and evening services, depending on the need we have in providing preaching training opportunities. Furthermore, our Discipleship Teams will become service specific, to facilitate relationships within the congregations as we learn together, serve together and grow together as disciple makers in Christ.
- We clarified what it means to be part of a core team: We explained that to be part of a core team simply means you’re committed to the fundamentals of discipleship, which includes a commitment to praying for our church and plans, and to renew your personal commitment to make, mature and mobilise disciples of Jesus Christ from every nation for God’s glory. In addition, you will be committing yourself to attend the following sessions:
Sunday 29 Jul Session 1: The doctrine of Church and the vision of CSAC (done)
Sunday 26 Aug Session 2: The doctrine of Church and the shape of our services
Sunday 23 Sep Session 3: The doctrine of music and the songs we sing
Sunday 21 Oct Session 4: Make disciples and Discipleship Teams
Sunday 25 Nov Session 5: Mature disciples and REAL Discipleship
Sunday 13 Jan Session 6: Mobilising disciples – Part 1 of 2
Sunday 27 Jan Session 7: Mobilising disciples – Part 2 of 2
- We made it clear that we are simply planning for growth, and may not necessarily go ahead with the new service: Some of the questions we will need to answer together include (1) are we spiritually ready to take on this next endeavour under God? (2) do we have a core team to relaunch the 10am service and launch the 5pm service? (3) do we have the man-power to run all our services faithfully and well without the risk of burn out? (4) do we have sustained growth to warrant a new service?
- We had opportunities to ask questions: After each section of the presentation, we heard from the floor and answered questions.
- We prayed together: The God we serve loves to hear our prayers, and so we committed ourselves and our ministry into God’s hands.
It was very encouraging to see so many of you at our first session. It is our privilege to commit our ways to the Lord, including our plans to make, mature and mobilise disciples of Jesus Christ. If you have any thoughts or questions, please come and chat to me on Sunday or at REAL Training on Wednesday. I’d love to chat and hear from you.
In the meantime, if you can let me know where you’re at currently, that would be helpful. You can either text me on 0412 015 777 or email me at with your full name and a number corresponding to one of the following responses:
1. I would like to be part of the core team for the 10am Service
2. I would like to be part of the core team for the 5pm Service
3. I am planning to continue attending the 10am Service, but do not wish to be part of the core team
4. I am planning to attend the 5pm Service, but do not wish to be part of the core team
5. I am willing to be part of either the 10am Service or 5pm Service core team
6. I’m undecided but I will continue to come along to the sessions
7. I’m undecided and will not continue to come along to the sessions
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!