The Great Commission of Jesus is clear:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Matthew 28:18 – 20
We firmly believe that partnership with Jesus’ vision is not an optional extra for Christians, but part of the identity of every believer. We long to be caught up in God’s plan for his world, and we invite you to join us!
Timothy Keller, noted church planter and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York, observes that church planting is “the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city and the continual corporate renewal and revival of existing churches. Nothing else … will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting.”
Why Mount Barker?
In short, church planting is one the best ways, if not the best way, to create opportunities for people to hear the good news about Jesus - both in the new church and in the older churches around it! Why Mount Barker? The short answer is that there are lots of people in the Mount Barker area who need to hear the good news of forgiveness, reconciliation with God and eternal life, so why not Mount Barker?!
The slightly longer answer is that the population and growth of the Mount Barker region make it a smart choice for a church plant. Mount Barker is one of the fastest growing towns in Australia and has a development rate second only to the Gold Coast. The population growth is so high that Mount Barker has been designated a “Regional Centre” making it a high priority for government services and infrastructure development. The total population of the Mount Barker, Littlehampton & Nairne townships (immediately adjacent to the South Eastern Freeway) is expected to grow to 20,000 by 2013, while the whole Local Government Area is expected to grow to over 34,600 by 2021, a 31% increase on 2006 population. 550 new homes are expected to be constructed each year in the coming several years.
But aren't there enough churches there already?
That depends on what you mean by enough! Are there churches in the area which teach the Bible and are filled with people who long for others to hear the good news of the gospel? Yes, of course. But there are nowhere near enough churches to accommodate all the people in the area who still need to hear the good news and who might come along if a Christian invited them or talked about their faith with them.