Australia, and its cities, need more churches. According to recent research (All Melbourne Matters, 2009) approximately 80% of Melbourne's population have little, if any, connection with a church community. Roughly only 8% of the population attends church once a month and just 3% of people aged 15-24 are currently part of a worshiping community.
While millions of people live outside of the bride of Christ, Tony Payne has observed that the "population as a whole is not nearly as hostile to Christianity or to churchgoing as we think". According to research, 43% agree that Jesus rose from the dead, 45% believe in life after death and a staggering 74% believe God exists. As Tim Sims has said, "Australians are very concerned about religion, just not sure that the religion we promote in our churches is the religion of Jesus."
It seems that the harvest is plentiful. So how will the labourers be sent into this harvest?
What is PlantED?
City on a Hill is a church planting church. Our first church plant, City on a Hill: Geelong, launched at Simonds Stadium on November 3rd, 2013. Our second church plant, City on a Hill: Melbourne West, will launch in early 2014. In addition, City on a Hill is supporting the planting of Redemption Church in Ringwood. This is just the beginning.
As we cultivate the planting of new churches across Melbourne and throughout Australia, the need for church planters who can meet the challenge increases. We want to find, grow, build, serve and develop leaders who, like Paul calls for, have the discipline of an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5), the resolve of a soldier (2 Timothy 2:4), the work-ethic of a farmer (2 Timothy 2:6), the tenderness of a mother (1 Thessalonians 2:7) and the discernment of a shepherd (Ephesians 4:11). In order to grow men like this, we have developed a church planting internship, PlantED.
If you want to plant a church, there is no better environment for training than a church planting church. We want you to be planted at City on a Hill for one year; so that you might grow into this kind of planter. We want you to be planted amongst a church planting culture, so that you might be sharpened and shaped to best serve your future church and the people Jesus entrusts under your leadership.
What does PlantED involve?
The program involves a two day per-week voluntary commitment, with all-access to City on a Hill's pastors and staff, systems and structures, in addition to a structured training schedule. We will work with you to make you the best prepared church planter you could possibly be. You will join the staff team, be privy to the trials and triumphs of church planting, and be trained in strategic leadership.
Who is PlantED for?
If you are planning on planting a church in the next 3 years, PlantED will be the ideal soil in which to learn how to labour in the harvest. The program is designed for potential church planters who are already well trained theologically, and would benefit from seeing inside a church plant, before starting one themselves.
How do I find out more?
You can apply for PlantED, and find out more information, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close January 17th, 2014. The program begins February 9th, 2014.
Can I encourage you to pray whether you would be one of the people God is calling into the program? Do you have a desire to plant a church with Jesus so that the Gospel might be made known to your city? Does that desire need to be supplemented with competency and experience? This is your opportunity. The harvest is plentiful.