Summerleas Christian Church (Tasmania) How God is using a church to show he is real

[The ministries of the CRCA come to expression in many different contexts. In many instances, ministries supported by the CRCA come to expression at the level of the local church, so while many things receive denominational funding, it’s the local church which benefits most. In the following article, Clinton Berends, Chairman of the Church Planting Taskforce, writes about one of the CRCA’s latest church plants, Summerleas Christian Church. As you read about lives impacted by the Gospel, be encouraged to see CRCA denominational funds supporting wonderful Gospel ministry. – DG]

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Summerleas’ Pastor Dave Lynch baptises a new believer at Kingston Beach, Tasmania

Just over six years ago, in line with the four-fold task, the CRCA established the Church Planting Taskforce (CPT) with the mandate of encouraging and resourcing the work of Church Planting throughout the denomination. At the most recent CRCA Synod it was reported that, under God’s grace, four new churches have been instituted in the last three years and many more church plants are underway or in the planning stages.

“…God used people here to show me that he’s real…”

One of the churches is Summerleas Christian Church, in southern Tasmania. Summerleas was planted in 2008, and since that time has been blessed greatly, growing from just over 50, to nearly 100. It has been exciting to see the Lord at work in the lives of people.

Pastor David Lynch says “It has also been exciting to see our vision begin to take shape and to actually work as we seek to disciple one another and reach out to others. It has taken a good 3 years or so (and we’re still working at it) to get our heads around what it means for us to live as a Gospel centred organic community (our vision) and so to see this finally start to happen is such a joy.”

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Summerleas people relaxing and building community – the smiles say it all

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While some of that growth has been transfers from other churches, there have been conversions and reconnections to church and Christ that had been dormant for some time. While we don’t want to get hung up on numbers, it’s worth remembering that every number is a person who has come to life in Christ. Here are some comments by those who have come to faith in Summerleas:

I realise that God knew exactly what I needed – to be overwhelmed and surrounded with Christians, not just on a Sunday but every day, all the time, so that I didn’t have a chance to not think about it, or let it slip into the background.

When [my son] was in grade 1 [a friend from S’leas] talked to me about her church (now ours) … and how kid – friendly it was.  [my son] had been to church a few times with my mother but not with me.  I took the chance and came along to church. I guess that’s when I started being more aware of my sinful nature and I am different from the person I was.

I also believe that God used people here to show me that he’s real. I have met so many genuine, generous, kind people since I’ve been here, and every one of them has been a Christian, and it got me thinking that if these people are Christians, and this is how good they are, there must be something to it!

Joining in … on rhythms and family meals was a great way to get to know the members of the church better. I have met lots of Christians who have an active relationship with God – it is not a once a week event…it is their life.

The impact has not just been felt by those who have come the church in that time. There has been great benefit for those who were involved in the original core team. David Lynch says

“(this impact has been) huge, everyone has grown immensely and I would say that almost all of them are more active in making disciples than before. Many have grown into wonderful church leaders, and others have stepped up in ways that they would not have done had they not been part of a church plant.”

As a denomination we have much to give thanks for, including the ministry of church planting, as seen in places like Summerleas. We ought to continue to pray that God would continue to raise up leaders, church planters and church planting teams as he continue to draw the lost to himself through his people.

Clinton Berends

CRCA Church Planting Taskforce

Note: you can also read more about Summerleas Christian Church on the CRCA Ministry Formation Website – DG

About davidgroenenboom
Follower of Jesus, husband of one, father of three, grandfather of one, Pastor at Gateway Community Church

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