‘What should a church shaped by mission look like? What is hindering this? And what can we do about it?’ With these three questions Bishop Stuart challenged and encouraged attendees at the recent Wagga Wagga Bishop’s Convention to be active in ensuring that their churches are as effective as possible in drawing people to Christ.
The Convention held at St Paul’s Turvey Park was a resounding success with around 80 people attending from parishes in the Wagga Wagga region. Bishop Stuart gave four dynamic presentations where he explained the biblical foundations of mission, shared stories of God at work through local churches and believers, and gave practical teaching on prayer and how to share your faith. A worship band from St Paul’s led the singing, and various people were interviewed including Jane Robinson, The Reverend Yvonne Gunning, and David and Natalie McDermott from St Paul’s.
The day was truly inspiring with many times of prayer throughout — this was one of the features a number of attendees found particularly significant. The emphasis was on practical changes we can make so that our churches really do have an impact in their communities. In light of this call to action the Parish of Holbrook has already planned a ‘season of prayer’ with prayer meetings to take place between now and Christmas. Other attendees reported great encouragement in hearing Jane Robinson’s stories of seeing mothers come to faith through community playgroups.
We are immensely blessed to have such a godly and gifted leader in Bishop Stuart, and the overall feel of the day was one of wonderful encouragement and an eagerness to be prayerful and outward-looking for the sake of reaching people for Christ. May God indeed bless all such efforts so that the day might not simply be remembered for the wonderful time that it was, but as a catalyst for spurring God’s people on to ever-greater faithfulness and fervour in sharing Christ.
by Reverend James Coats