Next year…

For those who came in late (I’ve always wanted to start something that way), this year is my last year at Queensland Theological College.

My last year of being a “Candidate for Ordination” for the Presbyterian Church of Queensland. And it’s almost September.

It is traditional, at these times, if one is a college student, to be thinking about one’s future. To be thinking about next year – and the years after, and where one might end up serving the body of Christ, his church, and in what capacity.

Today I stood up in front of all four services at Creek Road, with my friend Joe, and we spoke about next year – and where we’re headed. For a bit more on what Joe is doing see this post on the Creek Road blog.

Long long time readers might remember some things I wrote in my pre-college years about ministry in regional parts of Australia. And might remember some of my passionate pleas for people to take the gospel to regional Queensland.

You may also remember some of my cynicism about missional theology centered on “the city” – as if inner city ministry is hugely transformative and thus, of more value.

You may remember some of the things I said about “church planting” and the types of people who are attracted to the glamour and excitement of not having to deal with “traditions” and stuff.

It’s all here in the archives.

You may know that Robyn and I have continued to champion the cause of Queensland’s regional areas in our time at college.

You’ll be happy to know – on the basis of these well documented commitments – that our immediate, and probably short to medium to long term future has been sorted.

God, it seems, has a sense of humour.

Next year, and beyond (subject to me passing college, my trials for license, and a congregational meeting) Robyn and I will be continuing to serve with the saints at Creek Road in a new campus. Creek Road is going multisite (don’t worry – all the stuff I said about video preaching and the need for a preacher to have a flesh and blood presence with his congregation still stands).

This campus is in South Bank. Brisbane’s cultural hub. Brisbane’s inner city.

We’re very excited about serving with Creek Road – it is a church that is serious about the gospel, and is serious about reaching the lost. It is a church that has a clearly articulated theology of ministry, and philosophy of ministry, and approach to ministry that I’m more than on board with. It is a church that makes sure Jesus is at the heart of each sermon, each song, each Growth Group study.

If you come to Creek Road on a Sunday – you’ll hear about Jesus.

Which is great.

South Bank is a really exciting part of Brisbane. It’s where a lot of the good cafes are. It’s where culture happens. We’re even meeting at the Queensland Theatre Company.

We’re going to be opening a campus, a church, in the heart of Brisbane – where stories are told – and we’ll be sharing the best story in the world – the gospel of Jesus.

Which is exciting.

This may all seem something like a slap in the face to regional Queensland – but it’s not. At least not in my head.

I still love regional Queensland. Especially North Queensland. I’m still keen to see great ministry happening outside of the south east corner, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to be a part of that in a more effective way than I would be were I to head somewhere else (and there aren’t a huge number of competing offers out there this year).

I’m particularly excited about Creek Road’s commitment to partnering with, and resourcing, churches all around the state, and even all around the country. There are concrete examples of this happening already – in regional Queensland and beyond. That is one of the things that really excites me about joining the team at Creek Road.

There are a heap of synergies in terms of things I’m passionate about seeing our denomination do to share the gospel and this role at Creek Road.

One of the things I’ve become really passionate about since I wrote all that stuff about regional ministry is the sort of public Christianity sphere this blog has started to occupy, that represents a significant aspect of my thinking about ministry, and there have been a few conversations I’ve had with people around the country in recent weeks on that front that make me think this is an area I should continue exploring and developing.

There’s huge scope for developing this stuff further in this role – producing things like this, and working with our team on things like this smart phone app, and helping think about how we share and distribute¬†these videos.


Adele says:

I pray God richly blesses you and your family as you seek to serve him!

Chris Lindsay says:

That’s great news. I’m stoked to hear that further church planting in happening in Bris and closer to the city as well. It’s a big city and while student ministry has made some inroads in growing the Gospel in my beloved city of origin there’s more work to be done. You have a whole lifetime to work out differing passions/convictions. I think under the sovereign Lord’s hand none of these peculiar passions are wasted. But each stage of ministry provides an opportunity for one to give oneself wholeheartedly to the particularised expression of vocation God places you in. Til he sees fit to move you on. I never thought I’d end up in regional NSW after student ministry. About the same time you articulated a vision for regional Qld ministry I was thinking a lot about inner Bris ministry but here is God’s place and God’s timing and I find myself rejoicing in that. Oh and I love the fact you used the word *synergies*. In fellowship.

Gary Ware says:

Having read this blog for a few years now, I think this is a wonderful plan.
Just don’t overdose on local coffee options.
Southbank seems a fitting venue to put express your ministry convictions, and to do so in the context of Creek Road’s plans for campus churches will provide you with an amazing amount of mature support, clear strategic counsel and resources.
Be humble.
Be personally holy.
And don’t get caught up in responding to naysayers who don’t want to engage, but only express their negativity.

Al Bain says:

3 things.

1. Queensland and culture? When did that happen?
2. Church Planting is, as they say, for wimps.
3. Great news.

Gav says:

Al, here’s a joke from the 1980s.

What’s the difference between Qld and yoghurt?

Yoghurt’s go an active culture.

Gav says:

God’s sense of humour…bit like me not wanting to ever be a Presbyterian minister.

That’s great news Nathan. We’re praying for you mate. It won’t be easy.

[…] mentioned a few weeks ago that we’re excited about our (potential) job for next year – starting a new church at South Bank (in Brisbane’s CBD) with Creek Road. And that is a big part of what we’re excited about for next […]