Movin’ to the country
Life in country Australia is pretty peachy. It’s just a shame that we can’t seem to convince Sydneysiders of that fact…
This topic of conversation always gets me in trouble in Christian circles – so I apologise in advance for the offense I’m about to cause you city dwellers. I know some of you know people who are going to regional Australia. I know some of you are keen to go overseas. I know some of you have good reasons to stay in Sydney and feel “called” to do so – but if everybody is “called” to be in Sydney you’ve got to start questioning where the calling is coming from…
My friend Mike, a minister in a regional centre in Queensland, posted a fairly innocuous appeal to city ministers as his status yesterday. And he got in trouble.
I’m going to play the role of cavalry.
This is what he said: Mike wants to remind my friends that the mission field is bigger than Sydney!
He copped a bit of a comment flogging. He was accused of empire building. Which I thought was odd. Mike is from Sydney. His family live there. He’s traditional Sydney staying fodder. And he left. Much respect to him…
And this old chestnut came up:
Australia’s population is not evenly spread – almost 1 in 5 Aussies live here. It would make sense then that 1 in five workers is here also. (There may be more than that I’m not sure).
Newsflash – that means 4 in 5 people in Australia aren’t in Sydney. Sadly two out of four of Australia’s reformed evangelical training institutions are in Sydney. I would suggest that more than 1 in 5 reformed evangelical workers are in Sydney.
Someone somewhere should do some research – but anecdotally speaking – I’d say there are only a handful of graduates from either Moore College or SMBC in Queensland. I’d say the case is similar in other states.
Off the top of my head there are only about 15 graduates from these colleges operating in Queensland (but this is largely limited to Presbyterian circles). That’s a rough head count.
According to this site Sydney occupies about 2100 square kilometres. According to this site Australia is 7,686,850 square kilometres.
I know there’s this big “theological” push to do city based ministry – but really, our regional towns are the size of Biblical cities in some cases.
Can someone tell me how we’re meant to reach the other 4 in 5 people in that sort of space with the concentration of good ministry stuff we’ve got going on in Sydney?