Sent to New Horizons
For St Mark’s members Cameron and Kirstine Brauer and Carlin and Chris Ruhle (pictured), attending the SENT conference revealed the pivotal role of the Holy Spirit in strengthening congregations, and in reaching into communities through church planting.
The sessions focussed on the importance of relational evangelism and how the Holy Spirit drives and empowers congregations in different ways. In facing the problem of declining numbers of members in Lutheran churches across Australia, speaker Noel Due suggested that the question should not be ‘What do we do to fix things?’ but instead, ‘What is the Spirit saying to the churches?’
He reminded us that in the book of Acts, the church was constantly on the move – driven by the Spirit. The Spirit is strong, always moving forward, though not in a linear path. The path we walk on with the Spirit is not under our control, and could very well take us to places we would not normally choose to go.
The dynamics of family and congregations have shifted over the generations.
The most recent National Church Life Survey gives confronting facts, such as that we are now often in communities that view regular church attendance as once per month – not weekly.
That’s why church planting today is driven by relational evangelism. To reach someone not connected to a church, we need to build a relation-ship from the ground up. Just like other relationships, church planting takes time, there’s no instant growth.
We are excited to see where the Spirit is leading the LCA and identifying the parts that we can play personally and together in our parish to listening to the Spirit’s direction to fulfil God’s mission for us.
Learn more about intentional, relational evangelism, through the video resources available from LCA.
Or chat to members who went to last year’s LCA conferences.
SENT - Chris and Carlin Ruhle and Cameron and Kirstine Brauer; and
New Horizons - Dale and Tracy Pukallus.