by Tania Nelson

Are you worried about our church because congregations are shrinking or even closing, while others are without a pastor? And what about the people who may miss out on hearing the gospel because of these trends?

Despite our fears, God is at work in our church and our communities. There are green shoots of growth in his kingdom. These include new congregations being planted by people like Jacob and Kate in Canberra, and Matt and Becca in Rockingham, Western Australia.

Meet our church planters

Jacob and Kate moved from Adelaide to Canberra for work in 2013 – the year they were married. They have been involved in Immanuel Woden Valley’s journey as a sending church and Jacob co-led the congregation’s first missional community. He is now employed by their church while completing theological studies. A statistician, Kate is also a member of the LCA’s Committee for New and Renewing Churches.

Jacob says: ‘Canberra has the second-highest percentage of non-religious people in Australia – imagine what would change if more people experienced the love and hope we receive from Christ.’

Matt and Becca are newly married and live in a growing WA area. With a background in youth and young adult ministry, Matt is completing his Master of Theology through Australian Lutheran College and working with Rockingham Mandurah Lutheran Church in their church planting journey. Student Becca is a gifted violinist and enjoys joining Matt in ministry.

Matt says: ‘Did you know 1.2 million West Australians don’t know the gospel of Jesus? Church planting is the best way to change that.’

Your support can make a difference

They can’t do this alone though – they need your support to bring love to life in new places, in new ways, to new people. That’s why you’ll soon hear in your congregation how to share in this exciting outreach through Local Mission’s appeal.

Your prayers and donations will enable:

  • A congregation like yours to be supported in missional training
  • A church planter to be mentored by a team member from the LCA/NZ’s New and Renewing Churches department
  • A sending church to receive a grant to support the fledgling church plant

What else can your support do?

As well as enabling our LCA/NZ church planters to share the good news of God’s amazing love, your prayers and gifts support the vital mission work of Cross-Cultural Ministry, Ministry with the Ageing, Grow Ministries and Lutheran Media.

Dr Tania Nelson is the LCA/NZ’s Executive Officer – Local Mission.

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