Next year, Joel will be starting a new church in Taree, God willing!
This is something we’ve been praying and dreaming about for years. In 2017, we employed Joel as a church planter apprentice. Since then he’s done a great job leading the launch phase of our Hallidays congregation. And now we believe it’s time to send him off to plant a new independent church in Taree, which will be called Manning Bible Church.
1. Set up Manning Bible Church as it’s own legal entity
2. Gather and train a launch team
3. Secure a venue
1st Jan - Joel will officially start working as the lead pastor of Manning Bible Church, giving the bulk of his time and attention to working with the launch team and Taree home groups. He will also keep serving at CoastEC, with special emphasis on the Hallidays congregation and the launch team who attend that service, until the AGM.
23rd Feb (AGM) – formally commission Joel and the launch team, and send them off
1st March – ‘soft launch’ (first Sunday service, launch team only)
15th March – public launch
Impact on CoastEC?
There will obviously be a cost to all this, and it will no doubt have a significant impact on CoastEC.
It will be sad to say goodbye to Joel and his family, and to the brothers and sisters who go with them to start a new church. We will miss them dearly! This side of heaven, our relationships are temporary and often seasonal. But for the sake of the gospel, and the lost, we must be willing to send our best and most loved. We look forward to the day when Jesus returns because then there will be no need to send missionaries or say goodbye. We will all be gathered around the throne of our king, with the new people reached by the gospel in Taree and surrounds, enjoying unbroken fellowship with each other, and our Lord. But this side of eternity, there will always be a need for new churches seeking to reach new people.
Starting new churches costs money. CoastEC will commit to supporting Manning Bible Church financially for at least 3 years. We will also no longer receive the giving of the members who leave to go and plant with Joel. This will impact our income, so we’ll need to reassess our budget in light of this.
We don’t think we’ll be able to afford to employ someone else to fill Joel’s position (as well as employing a Kids & Youth Pastor). This means our existing staff will have to cover Joel’s responsibilities to some degree. Chris will oversee our Mission area until we can staff that role in the future.
4. Hallidays 2pm service
We’re not sure how all this will impact the 2pm service at Hallidays. The 3 things we’re wrestling with are:
a) Our ongoing ability to run the Sunday Service
There will be a significant proportion of people who leave to go to the church in Taree. Many of them are actively serving in many ways. So depending on who remains, and the level of involvement they have, or are able to have in various ministries, will impact our ability to continue running a weekly Sunday Service up there. God willing, the 2pm service will continue, but we may need to take a short break and re-boot it again another day.
b) Our ability to fund it
Our budget will be stretched thin, and renting the school up there costs about $14,000/year;
c) Our ability to staff it
Our staff have all stretched hard for the last 2 years, and without Joel (and re-staffing his position), it may be unwise to keep stretching the staff team a little harder!
We will be working through these issues with our Staff Team, Admin Committee, and Hallidays congregation, so please pray for God’s wisdom in all this.
Is it worth it?
Yep! Starting new gospel ministries is always costly. But we believe in the strategic importance of establishing another gospel hub in a large regional centre, that God willing, will have an effective reach into the surrounding suburbs. At the end of the day, how much are souls worth? What cost was God prepared to pay for them? Are we willing to sacrifice for His great cause?
If you’ve got any questions about any of the above please come and have a chat with either Chris or Joel.
If you’re interested in being a part of the MBC launch team (and Joel doesn’t know) please talk with Joel.
Each year Super Salt is a sweet opportunity for our kids to bring their mates along to hear about Jesus, it's coming up again soon (17-19 July), and here's 4 ways you can help us get it firing for God's glory:
1. Please start talking and praying with your kids about who they could invite + bring along this year
2. Please pray for a super venue. We've made lots of enquiries, got lots of nos, have pencilled in a booking at the Guides Hall, but are still looking forsomething that'll work better (can't wait to have our own venue!)
3. Please help us cover the venue costs for the week (if you can do this, make a direct deposit with the details on our website and tag the gift with 'Super Salt')
4. Please start praying that God would be giving a fresh start to heaps of kids in our region for his glory!
Thanks heaps guys - good times ahead